Emergency NMC register goes live with over 7,000 nurses and midwives

Future plans include expanding the emergency register to include student nurses.

Clare Bodell
27 March 2020
specialist nurses

The register is designed to increase staffing numbers to battle Coronavirus.

Over 7,000 nurses and midwives across all four countries of the UK are now on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) emergency register.


Just seven days after the professional regulator wrote to around 50,000 nurses and midwives who had voluntarily left their professions within the last three years with its invitation to sign up and help the existing health and care workforce in this critical situation.

The NMC’s emergency register is designed to bolster staffing numbers in order to improve the UK’s responsiveness to COVID-19.

Future plans include expanding the emergency register to include student nurses in their final six months of training.

An RCN spokesperson warned that “Anyone wishing to return must have full employment protection and be paid according to complexity and responsibility of role. Retired nurses who wish to return must be supported and provided with training, as well as given full employment status and protection.”


A massive difference.

Commenting on the launch of the NMC Covid-19 temporary register, Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “We’re living in the most extraordinary of times. To see thousands of former nursing and midwifery professionals make the decision so quickly to sign up to our temporary emergency register and join the Covid-19 response is simply incredible.

“To former nurses and midwives who left their professions within the last three years who haven’t already applied to join the NMC Covid-19 temporary register but would like to, it’s not too late. We need you. Please sign up here.

“We know it’s a huge ask, but by offering to return to work in this hour of need, I know what a massive difference your expertise and experience will bring for everyone working in and receiving care in the NHS, in communities, in nursing homes and across the country during the challenging weeks and months ahead.

“To our returners – and to the 700,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates who are already playing an essential and much valued part in this pandemic – you are the heartbeat of our health and care system. Thank you.


“2020 was always going to be a year of global pride because of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and now, more than ever, I couldn’t be prouder.”

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