Many international nurses and midwives come to practice and live in the UK. To work as a nurse or midwife, you must get registered to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which is the regulatory body of nursing and midwifery in the UK.
When applying for the registration with the NMC, you must have a year of practice as a nurse or midwife. If you have been practicing for longer than this, then you need to complete at least 450 hours in the last 3 years. You can find out more about Registration Requirements for Overseas Nurses here.
When your application meets the NMC’s standard requirement, you will need to undertake the Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP) in an approved education institution in the UK. You can find a list of approved education institution in the NMC’s website. The ONP is not widely available so, NMC recommends you to secure a place before travelling to the UK for the ONP.
The Overseas Nursing Programme is categorized into two parts:
The time period in the supervised practice is about three months, all the candidates are required to cover it before registering with the NMC. The supervised practice is to qualify nurses and midwives under the United Kingdom system. In supervised course period nurses will develop their capabilities to take responsibilities like Communication, Quality of Care, Clinical Practice and Decision-Making, and Personal and Professional Development Training.
In 20 days protected learning, you will cover topics like UK laws, health and safety issues, record-keepings, NMC Code of Conducts, drugs administration and your personal accountability as a registered nurse. You will only need to take the 20 days protected learning, if your educational and practical experiences taken in your home country closely matches the UK requirement for entrance to the registration.
The ONP is designed to ensure fitness for practice in the UK for nurses who are trained outside the EEA. NMC checks all the proofs of your academic qualification, experience, IELTS test and then issue a decision letter. Your decision letter will confirm what part of the program you will undertake. You will have to complete the ONP in two years after the date of issue of the decision letter. If you don’t complete it within given time period, then NMC will close your application.