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NMC makes significant changes to language requirements for international nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Council have made significant changes to its English language requirements after claims the previous test was ‘too hard’.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today announced that it is making alternative options available for nurses and midwives, trained outside the UK, to demonstrate their English language capability.

From 1 November 2017, the NMC will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) in addition to the International English Language Test System (IELTS), as proof of a nurse or midwife’s English language competence.

This change will provide an alternative way for nurses and midwives to demonstrate their English language capability.

The NMC had previously investigated if the IELTS was too difficult with experts warning it was the primary reason for a reduction in the number of EU nurses.

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Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“Nurses and midwives trained outside the UK make up around 15 percent of our register. They are vital to the delivery of health and care services across the UK.

“By accepting alternative forms of evidence we are increasing the options available for nurses and midwives to demonstrate they have the necessary command of English to practise safely and effectively, without compromising patient safety.”

The regulatory body says these changes are part of an ongoing review process into its English language requirements.