Trained outside the EU/EEA

Information for nurses and midwives who trained outside the EU or EEA

Requirements for applying to join the register:

Language requirement

Applicants must be able to show that they can communicate clearly and effectively in English. They must complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and achieve a minimum score of at least seven in all areas. Applicants may provide two IELTS test certificates to meet the above requirements, but must not have scored below 6.5 in any categories, in either of the test sittings. The two test sittings must be taken within six months of each other to be considered. There are no exceptions to this requirement, even if English is their first language. We will verify the scores with the IELTS organisation. Please note that we will not accept IELTS test results that are more than two years old at the time the registration application is submitted. For example: if an applicant took an IELTS in April 2015 and sat the test again within six months, they can use the scores from both tests to satisfy our requirements. However, no individual score can be below 6.5.

Example scenarios Example 1: Listening Reading Writing Speaking Test 1 7 7.5 6.5 7 Test 2 6.5 7 7.5 8 This application would be accepted. The applicant has scored 7 in all categories, and no score is lower than 6.5.

Example 2: Listening Reading Writing Speaking Test 1 6 7.5 6.5 7 Test 2 6.5 7 7.5 7.5 This application would not be accepted. The applicant has a score lower than 6.5.

Example 3 Listening Reading Writing Speaking Test 1 7 7.5 6 7 Test 2 6 7 7.5 7.5 This application would not be accepted. The applicant has scores lower than 6.5.

Practice requirements

At the time of the application, the applicant must have practised as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months (full time or the part-time equivalent) after qualifying. This post-registration experience must be relevant to the field of practice the applicant is applying for. Any practice that is not covered by registration cannot be considered for the requirement of 12-month post-registration experience. Registration requirements Applicants must hold a current registration or licence without restriction with the licensing authority or registration body in the country in which they qualified or have been practising. If applicants have worked as a nurse or midwife in more than one country or state, we require them to be registered with the licensing authority or registration body in all the countries/states where they have worked. We will require verification from that authority regardless of the length of their employment. Applicants must provide the details of all practice undertaken as a registered nurse including verification documents and registration certificates. Education requirements Applicants must have successfully completed at least 10 years of school education before starting a post-secondary education nursing training programme, leading to registration in their home country as an entry-level registered nurse.

Course Duration:

Adult (general) nursing Applicants must have completed a programme at post-secondary level leading to registration as a general nurse. The programme should be three years in length (or equivalent) and contain a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practice which must be evidenced by a transcript of training from the applicant’s higher education institution. The programme must have included theoretical and practical instruction in:

  • general and specialist medicine
  • general and specialist surgery
  • childcare and paediatrics
  • maternity (obstetric) care
  • mental health and psychiatry
  • care of the elderly
  • community/primary care nursing.

(This is all covered as it shows in the curriculum but it is best to check the form filled by the college before submission to minimize error so as to progress registration process swiftly)

Additional information

If the applicant did comprehensive or general nurse training in their home country, they will only be able to apply for registration in the UK as an adult nurse.

How to apply for registration as a nurse.

Applicants must submit their application to become a registered nurse on website. Please note, before deciding to apply, applicants should consider if they meet the general and specific requirements described in the previous sections.

The application process Eligibility:

Applicants must complete a self-assessment of their eligibility to apply prior to beginning the application process. They must declare that they meet all of the minimum requirements including good health and good character. They must also confirm that they understand that they must provide supporting evidence of these declarations during the assessment stage of the process. If an applicant confirms the declarations and cannot provide evidence at the assessment stage, their application will not be progressed and their assessment fee cannot be refunded.

Test of competence – part one:

Once applicants have passed the eligibility assessment, they will be asked to sit the first part of the test of competence. This will be a computer based test of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test format will be multiple choice and can be taken in test centres around the world. Applicants have two attempts at the test. If an applicant fails to achieve the required minimum score after both attempts, they must wait six months in order to restart the application process.

The test provider, Pearson VUE, will administer their own test fee in agreement with us. Applicants will need to contact Pearson VUE directly to book and pay for their test.


Applicants will need to provide the following evidence in order for us to complete an assessment:

  • a valid passport – this same document must also be presented at the test centre.
  • birth certificate.
  • a qualification certificate for each qualification being submitted as part of the application.
  • registration certificates from each jurisdiction where the applicant has practised and/or been registered – if the applicant’s country operates state registration, they will need to have registered in each state where they practised.
  • Two employment references confirming the applicant’s post-registration practice of at least 12 months, their competence and character.
  • Verifications from all jurisdictions where the applicant practised or where the applicant has been previously registered.
  • Transcript of training for all relevant nursing or midwifery programmes completed by the applicant. These must be calculated in hours or be accompanied by a letter from the training institution with a key to how the credits translate to hours.
  • A good health declaration from the applicant’s general practitioner or the occupational health department at their place of work.
  • A police clearance certificate from all countries where the applicant has lived since the age of 18.

All of the relevant forms required are available to download from website once the applicant reaches the assessment stage, but not before. The applicant must send the relevant forms to the correct authorities to be completed and they must be posted back to us. We require the original forms that the referee or relevant body has completed. Uploads or copies of those forms cannot be accepted. All forms must be completed in full and be signed, stamped and dated. Once all the evidence has been submitted, an assessment officer will review the full application to ensure that it meets the requirements for registration. Providing all documents are correct and the criteria are met, the application will be progressed to the next stage. Where further information is required from the applicant and provided separately, a full new assessment and decision will be conducted. This allows the complete application to be reassessed in its entirety to ensure that all documents are consistent. Timescales of applications vary and some will take longer if the correct documents are not included with the initial application.

Test of competence – part two:

The second part of the test of competence will assess an applicant’s clinical knowledge. The test is an objective-structured clinical examination (OSCE) and can only be completed in the UK. The test will be administered by the University of Northampton who will administer their own test fee in agreement with us. Applicants will need to contact the university directly to book and pay for their test. The OSCE will simulate a clinical environment and patient scenarios which registered nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, implement and evaluate care. The OSCE contains nursing or midwifery scenarios along with separate skill stations. Each separate clinical examination is known a ‘station’ and candidates will circulate through all the stations within a set timeframe. Each of the six stations has standardised marking criteria against which all candidates are assessed. Candidates are assessed by a panel of examiners and will be filmed for quality assurance purposes.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence through safe and effective practice. The test of competence is based on current UK pre-registration standards Applicants have two attempts (an initial sitting and a full or partial re-sit) at the OSCE as part of one application.

ID check:

A face-to-face ID check will take place at the OSCE location on the same day as the OSCE. Applicants will be required to bring all the original documents that they have uploaded as supporting evidence for their application. If applicants cannot produce the documents required, they will have to rebook an ID check at our London office before they can complete the last stage of the process and receive their registration number. Final registration Once we have received notification that an applicant has successfully completed part two of the test of competence and the ID check, they will be invited to complete their final declaration and payment for registration online. Once both have been received, we will send the applicant their registration number (Pin).

Re-applying for registration:

If an applicant fails to achieve the required minimum score after both OSCE attempts, their application will close and a minimum of six months must elapse before they can sit the OSCE again. If an applicant would like to begin their re-application ahead of the six month OSCE exclusion period they can do so. In order to re-apply, please contact For public protection, we will carry out an assessment, confirm the CBT and IELTS validity period and inform you of the next steps. You may be required to provide more recent documentation following the assessment.

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