On 6th April 2017, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced changes to its application process for nurses and midwives trained outside the European Union / European Economic Area (EU/EEA).
The new changes on the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Process will provide extra flexibility by increasing the number of times a nurse or midwife can sit in the test they need to pass in order to practise medicine in the UK.
NMC is the regulator of nursing and midwives in the UK. Nurse and Midwife, who want to work in the UK, must join the NMC’s register. Nurses and midwives trained outside the EU/EEA must successfully take a two-part test of competence in order to join the NMC’s register. The first part is a computer-based test and second one is OSCE. Computer-based test can be taken anywhere in the world but the applicants can take OSCE only in the UK.
According to current process, if the nurse or midwife fails to pass the OSCE at their first attempt then they can re-sit on the exam after ten days. If they fail the exam in their second attempt then their application closes and they must wait for six months before re-applying.
NMC understands that the current process can put huge pressure on candidates on Tier 2 immigration visas, with applicants either leave the country or start the application again within a tight timeframe, where they do not have 6 months left on their visa and over the changes NMC have made aim to increase flexibility in this area.
Nurses and midwives submitting a new registration application from 6 April 2017 will have the opportunity to sit on OSCE for a third time if they need to, waiting 3 months to allow for further preparation, all within the same application. The new change on OSCE will bring overseas registration process in line with the 8 months time limit permitted by their visa to successfully complete their OSCE.
The chief executive and registrar of the NMC, Jackie Smith said that the NMC want to guarantee that all nurses and midwives with the right skills and knowledge can join NMC register regardless of where they were trained.
She further added that working in a new country can be daunting so, NMC want to make it is as direct as possible for nurses and midwives to demonstrate that they can meet the standards required to work in the UK.
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