Entrance test - Foreign nurses to face tougher criteria

24-03-2005

Overseas-trained nurses and midwives will have to embark on a 20-day training programme before entering the UK workforce.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has launched the Overseas Nurses Programme to set out common entry standards and supervised practice if necessary.

Nurses from outside the European Economic Area will only be able to register in the UK after completing the programme.

Every applicant will have to pass an international English language test from August next year. They will also be assessed on the basis of their skills and experience.

Applicants with skills that meet NMC standards will go on to the 20-day induction programme. Those who need more training will be required to do a period of supervised practice for between three and nine months.

Language testing will also begin in September and will be totally phased in by August 2006.

Educational establishments and practice providers will deliver the programme with the NMC and all placements will be audited by higher educational institutions.

�Linking registration to the completion of a compulsory and approved education programme will make the process more challenging for overseas-trained nurses,� said Sarah Thewlis, chief executive and registrar for the NMC. �But it will also ensure they are competent, well prepared and safe to work with patients and the public anywhere in the UK.�

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