From 7th October 2019, nurses and midwives applying to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council register from overseas will find the process quicker and more accessible than ever before. Applicants are now able to apply through an online system rather than paper, therefore speeding up the application process. They can track their progress through their personal account.
Very important improvements include streamlined requirements to confirm a candidate’s competence. The NMC will confirm if they hold the qualifications that would lead to registration in their home country. The pre-application checklist tool on NMC website is a great way of checking eligibility for registration. I believe this is so important as it helps candidates to assess if they are eligible to register.
This is great news for all UK Healthcare Employers searching for candidates. Shortage of nursing staff is an ongoing challenge for NHS Hospitals, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes. This affects staff morale and can lead to further resignations.
The NMC has made these changes to ensure that highly skilled nursing and midwifery professionals can join the UK workforce as quickly as possible in order to carry out their role of delivering better, safer care for people using health care services. We all need health care services now and again so it’s imperative that the staffing levels are up to standard.
Emma Broadbent, The Director of Registration and Revalidation at NMC said: ‘We have listened to people’s feedback and I’m pleased that from today, nurses, midwives and nursing associates from abroad will benefit from this improved process’.
As one of the nurses who have worked in the NHS and other health care sectors, this development gives me hope and believe that our hospitals will benefit as much as the healthcare workers from abroad searching for roles in the UK Healthcare Industry. We talk about winter crisis each year and without improving staffing levels, no amount of talks will resolve the ongoing crisis. Hospital managers are doing their best to recruit nurses but the nursing care needs for patients are forever increasing and challenging. There are quite a lot of elderly patients who stay longer than expected in hospitals for various reasons including lack of social care support in their own homes.
More changes and information are available on NMC website. It is important that nurses wishing to register must access NMC website, read and familiarise themselves with information about UK nursing competencies, requirements, expectations and eligibility criteria so that they can prepare and gather all documentation required. Once registered, nurses must uphold the standards and behaviours set out in the NMC Code of conduct so that people can have confidence that they will consistently receive quality and safe care.
Relocating to another country is a huge and challenging decision, therefore nurses applying to join the register will need a lot of support from their prospective employers and the public in general. They are coming over to help us with the crisis that we have been talking about for many years and to further advance their careers and not go backwards. Some of these nurses will have well earned experiences and skills in their respective fields so we must appreciate their capabilities and embrace the wealth of information they bring over. Having worked in the UK and abroad, I believe that every nurse is unique and valuable to the healthcare system. Through caring, we learn and experience various situations which we learn from.
There are various requirements and tests that nurses must complete in order to be admitted on the NMC register. The list includes: Computer Based Test known as (CBT) that overseas nurses, midwives and nursing associates must take to work in the UK. They also must undertake an Internal English Language Test System known as (IELTS) depending on their system. An additional exam known as Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) must also be passed before admission to NMC. Information about where and when these tests could be taken is available on NMC website. The fees for tests are also stipulated on NMC website. Botswana nurses wishing to register with NMC, the test Centre is: IT-IQ Botswana, Plot 68, Unit 8, Gaborone International Commerce Park, Box 40509, Gaborone, Botswana. Phone number +267 3181684
Nurses must refer to the checklist and take notes about what they require prior to starting the application. Some of the requirements include: Identity evidence such as passport, Qualification certificates, Health clearance evidence, English language and character/referee contact details. Confirmation of professional indemnity cover.
It is worth noting how long the application process takes so that your transition to the UK is well organised and all legal requirements are met such as work visas and family member visas. Registering with NMC is just the beginning of your journey so familiarise yourself with information about other requirements. Your prospective employer will assist you with some of the Home Office procedures therefore it is best finding a job prior to relocating. If you plan to bring in young children with you, consider how you will deal with childcare issues and plan carefully. Most nurses work 12 hour shifts so having young children can be challenging. Full time hours are 37 and half hours. Nursing is a 24-hour service so you may work day or night shifts but you can negotiate suitable hours with your employer at an early stage. Young children cannot be left unattended at any time, so it is very important that you think about their welfare and make appropriate arrangements before travelling to the UK.
It is also worth mentioning the UK weather for those relocating from warm countries. Learn about the UK weather as it can be cold and snowy around the winter months. There are some areas which can be a lot colder than others.
Regarding rented properties, try and do your homework by finding out about accommodation fees. When searching for jobs, find out information about accommodation fees, compare that with salaries offered and ensure that you can afford payments. House prices vary. There are some locations which are more expensive than others.
Further information about NMC registration is well documented on NMC website so it is every applicant’s responsibility to read and understand information available.
UK Visas and Immigration: www.gov.uk