Many foreign nurses who want to travel abroad to the United Kingdom to work as International Nurses do not have an idea of what the process looks like, In this article, we are going to help you through a step-by-step process of becoming a United Kingdom Registered Nurse (UKRN).
We have Outlined a detailed requirement for UK NMC registration here but note that you will require the following:
- International Travellers Passport: Your passport must have more than three months to expiry at the time you submit your application.
- Be a Registered Nurse in your Current Country or Home Country.
- Pass English Proficiency Test (IELTS) or (OET)
- Valid tuberculosis test
- Police Clearance
- Other Supporting documents
You can click the button below to read the full article on the UK requirements.
Step By Step Process to Register with NMC UK
Step 1: The first thing to do before starting the process is to first Get a valid international Travelers Passport of your home country or your country of residence with a date of expiry of more than three (3) months.
Step 2: For this Stage, Make sure you have read through the NMC requirements and have successfully written an English proficiency test with a passing score indicated in the link below
You can as well click the link below to contact or access your IELTS centre and the cost of the exams in your local currency.
Step 3: Before one can create an account, You will be required to complete a checklist of questions via the link: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/joining-the-register/register-nurse-midwife/trained-outside-uk/how-to-guide/check-ready/checklist-tool/nm-checklist-form/
When all requirements are met, You will be issued an ATT, Authorization to Test form (it is an order to authorize someone to collect your result on your behalf, please provide them with the following: A letter of authorization to include: authorize full name, candidate number, test date & signature. A copy of your passport.)
Here are a few of the questions you should expect on your checklist (Due to NMC UK Policy we cannot share certain contents unless with written permission from NMC UK.)
- Do you have a valid passport?
- Have you ever changed your name?
- Do you have a qualification that has or would allow you to register as a nurse or midwife in the country you trained in?
- Do you have your original qualification certificate?
- Does your health allow you to practise safely and effectively?
- Have you received a police charge, caution, conviction or conditional discharge?
- Has another regulatory body determined your fitness to practise impaired?
- Have you ever been registered?
- Have you been registered within the last three years?
- What evidence of your English language do you have to support your application?
- Will you have appropriate indemnity cover in place for your practice?
About your Checklist results from NMC UK
The answers in the checklist are personalised for you, based on your individual answers.
NMC UK Online Account
Step 4: Open an account with NMC UK via https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/joining-the-register/register-nurse-midwife/trained-outside-uk/how-to-guide/eligibility-and-qualification-application/begin/
Step 5: Cross-Check your Personal Details, especially your names. Be sure to check the spellings and arrangements of your names per your Passport and any other valuable documents, so you do not make typographical mistakes.
stage 6: You will be required to Pay a £140 evaluation fee(This fee is non-refundable, even if they determine that you’re not eligible to apply or you don’t gain registration.) after filling in the required information. At this stage, you need to upload the data page of your international passport, certificate (notification can be used here if your certificate isn’t available yet) and IELTS/OET result (optional at this point).
Confirmation of Details by your NMC and your education institution will need to do
Step 7: Once you’ve submitted your information and paid your evaluation fee, NMC UK will contact your education institution to:
- check the information you have provided about your qualification
- confirm it matches their records
- confirm your qualification is equivalent to a foundation level degree
- indicate if any of the information you’ve provided doesn’t match their records and tell them what information they do hold about you.
You can keep track of your application and see when your education institution has replied to NMC UK on NMC Online.
Once they have everything they need, They’ll carry out an evaluation of your qualification. If you meet their eligibility criteria, they’ll ask you to complete a Test of Competence. They’ll let you know the outcome of their evaluation by email within 14 calendar days of receiving the information from your education institution.
It is usually advisable to inform the referee in your education institution about your application or use a familiar person in your education institution.
Step 8: To Apply for Verification from your NMC in Nigeria, you can apply via
For those in Ghana, the link below will guide you through the process;
About NMC UK’s Test of Competencies
The test is specific to nursing associates and measures candidates against the council’s Standards of proficiency for nursing associates (2018). It consists of two parts:
- A multiple-choice computer-based test known as the CBT.
- A practical test known as the OSCE.
Step 9: You must wait until NMC UK tell you you’re eligible to take the Test of Competence before you book your CBT or OSCE.
Book the CBT (£83) and write the exam. You can buy a voucher for this on the website;
You can as purchase vouchers from local vendors and sometimes British Council.
According to the NMC UK website, You can sit your CBT or OSCE in any order, but you must successfully complete both parts to continue with your application for initial registration or readmission.
But in our part of the world, i mean Africa, only CBT is available. Most Immigrants take their OSCE in the UK.
There are a lot of private CBT online classes offered worldwide, You can as well join groups and study for your CBT.
Step 10: Start your job search after passing your CBT and IELTS/OET, Even though it is advisable to start your job search right from the beginning of the process, at this stage it will be more important to start scheduling interviews and analyzing job offers to be able to find a better offer. The following companies provide job offers (Some job offers comes from agencies whiles others are direct hires offers)
Below is a table of some Job portals in the UK;
Those who do not meet most requirements but still want to move to the UK can also apply to become care home workers via;
You can also search for jobs via Linkedin.com and other immigration information portals like nursingabroad.net and other social media platforms.
Generally, care homes are believed to pay more but NHS hospitals are better for career advancement. Alternatively, you can send emails to some trusts to show interest in working for them.
Step 11: Once you’ve successfully completed the Test of Competence, NMC UK will ask you to submit your full registration application. During this stage, they’ll check that you meet other registration requirements. You’ll need to provide evidence that demonstrates that you’re capable of safe and effective practice in England. (You cannot progress beyond this stage if your documents are not in line with the requirements)
What you need to do and why you need to provide this evidence
This evidence includes an upload of the name of the medical regulator, police clearance, notification/certificate and IELTS(academics)/OET result among others. Read more about the Evidence required here.
Timeframe for submitting information
You’ll have six months from the point the council ask you to submit your full application to ensure that they receive all the information they asked for, including verification from your referees (like your medical practitioner), otherwise they’ll close your application.
Pay registration fee
Step 12: When you’re ready to submit your application, you’ll need to pay the £153 registration fee.
This fee will be refunded if:
- you withdraw your application before we can complete your registration,
- we close your application because you haven’t provided all the necessary information within six months
- your application is unsuccessful because the council determine that you don’t meet their registration requirements.
Verifying your documents
As NMC UK will be asking you to upload some scanned documents as part of your application They’ll need to see the original documents at a face-to-face verification check.
They recommend you have these documents ready to present at your OSCE, so they can check their authenticity at the same time you take the test. You’ll then also have them ready to upload to your application once you’ve passed the test of competence.
It’s okay if you don’t have them in time for your OSCE, but you’ll need to return to the OSCE centre or the London office at a later stage to have your verification check before you get registered.
The council may need to ask you for more information if any of the details you provide are unclear or appear incomplete, or if you or your referee(s) provide conflicting information.
They may also ask you for further information if you:
- indicate you have a health condition and/or disability that you’re not managing.
- declare you have received any criminal cautions, convictions or determinations relating to a fitness to practice impairment they may need more information.
You’ll have an opportunity to provide additional information regarding any of the above with your application, so they recommend you provide as much information as possible to begin with to help them assess your application more quickly.
If they need to ask for more information at any point they will contact you by email.
What happens next
Once they’ve received all your supporting information, they’ll aim to assess your application within 35 calendar days.
They’ll then contact you by email to let you know the outcome and your next steps.
Notwithstanding, Continue with your job search or proceed with reviewing offers and signing your preferred offer letter and sending your documents to the trust/Agency etc. Do not sign more than one offer though you can have more than one (max should be 3 please, don’t go beyond that as we are trying not to cause problems for others). Note that when you apply directly, you might have to fund your visa and ticket yourself while you get a refund on getting to the UK (this isn’t always the case though), agents on the other hand pay for this upfront. Just ensure you read your offer letter well to know what the trust is offering. The choice is all yours to make at the end of the day. You might have to try both actually because getting offers isn’t as easy as before due to the backlogs Covid19 has caused as well as country restrictions.
Wait for a Certificate of Sponsorship by the trust (this replaces bank statements other direct visa applicants have to submit). It shows you have a sponsor that will support your stay in the UK. This COS also contains an employment start date. Ensure you don’t have more than one trust processing this for you as it is quite expensive which makes it unfair for the trusts and it can cause problems for you with the home office.
Discuss with the trust and book your visa and subsequently, your ticket. You need a valid tuberculosis test with 6 months validity and police clearance depending on your country and location.
After successfully making it to the UK, You will have to prepare to write the practical test for the OSCE (This will only be done in the UK as indicated above). You will get your pin (license) to practice upon successfully passing the OSCE.You will get to the UK as a pre-registration nurse and will be placed on salary band 3-4 (depending on trust). On passing your OSCE, you’ll automatically become a band 5 nurse. Most trusts train nurses for this exam, ensure you check your offer letter well and clarify this and be sure you are not following the wrong training session since the NMC’s authorized nursing associate OSCE provider is the University of Northampton and has their OSCE test centre is in the UK. In a statement via the university’s website they have stated that “We are aware that some organisations and consultancies are offering OSCE preparation training sessions for candidates for the Test of Competence. Please be aware that by attending these courses you do so at your own discretion. These training sessions are not endorsed or approved by either the University of Northampton or the NMC and could prepare you inaccurately for the test.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is/are the offical CBT providers for NMC UK?
NMC UK Official CBT provider is Pearson VUE. They have test centres in most countries around the world.
Who is the official nursing associate OSCE provider for NMC UK?
NMC UK nursing associate OSCE provider is the University of Northampton. Their OSCE test centre is in the UK.
What is the full meaning of OSCE?
Objective Structured Clinical Examination
OSCE stands for “Objective Structured Clinical Examination.” OSCEs are very helpful in medical education because they allow a student to practice and demonstrate clinical skills in a standardized medical/Nursing scenario.
What is the full meaning of CBT?
The Computer Based Test. (CBT) A new version of the Test of Competence for nurses and midwives launches on 2 August 2021. This document relates to the legacy 2014 version of the Test of Competence for nursing and midwifery.
what is the full meaning of IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989
How much does IELTS exma cost?
The IELTS exam fees can range between $140 – $310 USD. In most cases, IELTS test centers will charge a flat fee of $225, however, this is subject to change. Be sure to inquire about fees and other details with your nearest testing center in advance.
What is OET?
The OET (Occupational English Test) is a language assessment test designed for healthcare professionals, which was initially created for countries such as Australia and New Zealand and now accepted by many countries including the UK NMC.
How much does OET cost?
The test costs $587 AUD / $455 USD, You can check cost based on your current location via https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/book-oet/