NMC Overseas Registration Guide 

The Complete Guide to NMC Overseas Registration in 2024

Embarking on a nursing career in the United Kingdom is an exciting opportunity for overseas nurses, but it requires a proper understanding of the NMC's overseas registration process. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through all the essential steps and share valuable insights to help you navigate the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration process with ease and confidence, ultimately leading you to a rewarding nursing career in the UK.

Short Summary

  1. NMC registration is essential for overseas nurses to practice in the UK and includes language evidence, CBT & OSCE exams.
  2. Preparation strategies are key to success in these tests and the job search process.
  3. Fees and payment options must be considered when budgeting for a nursing career in the UK.

Understanding the NMC Registration Process for Overseas Nurses

NMC registration is crucial for overseas nurses who wish to practice as registered nurses in the United Kingdom. Gaining professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the primary step for overseas-trained nurses who desire to work in the UK.

The registration process includes providing evidence of language proficiency. It also consists of a computer-based test (CBT) and an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Let's delve deeper into the importance of NMC registration and the key components of the registration process.

Importance of NMC Registration

To practice nursing or midwifery in the UK, registration and approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) are mandatory. In order to apply for nursing registration, one must possess a valid nursing license/registration, without restrictions, in the country of qualification or current practice and fulfill the English Language Requirements.

The NMC ensures that only qualified and competent healthcare professionals are legally employed as nurses or midwives in the UK, thus maintaining high standards of patient care and safety.

Key Components of the Registration Process

As part of the NMC registration process, overseas nurses must provide language evidence by completing either the IELTS or OET exams, with the required score specified by the NMC. Additionally, the Test of Competence (ToC) is designed to evaluate the proficiency and understanding of the applicant, ensuring they meet the standards to join the NMC overseas register. The Table of Contents (ToC) has two components: a Computer-Based Test (CBT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Both tests are used to measure knowledge and competency.

Before commencing the application process, it is crucial to gather the necessary requirements using the pre-application checklist provided by the NMC. The required documents include proof of identity, qualification certificate, professional registration certificate, and payment of the evaluation fee, among others. Ensure that all documents are in acceptable file formats, such as PNG, jpg, or PDF.

By understanding and fulfilling these key components, you'll be one step closer to becoming a registered nurse in the UK, specializing as an adult nurse.

Language Evidence: Meeting IELTS or OET Requirements

Both the IELTS and OET exams serve as language evidence for the NMC registration process. While the IELTS exam is a general assessment of English language proficiency, the OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and evaluates communication abilities using actual healthcare scenarios.

Let's explore the exam details and required scores for both IELTS and OET.

IELTS Exam Details

The IELTS exam is an internationally recognized assessment of English language proficiency, comprising four components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each component is scored on a scale of 0-9, with 9 being the highest score.

To pass the IELTS exam and meet the NMC registration requirements, a minimum score of 6.5 is necessary.

OET Exam Details

As an alternative to IELTS, the OET exam assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to practice in an English-speaking environment. The exam comprises four subtests: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

To successfully complete the OET exam, a minimum grade of C+ in all sections must be achieved in both sittings, with a minimum grade of C+ in the writing section and a minimum grade of B in the reading, listening, and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings.

Preparing for the Computer-Based Test (CBT)

The Computer-Based Test (CBT) is an essential part of the NMC registration process for overseas nurses, designed to evaluate their nursing knowledge and comprehension of UK nursing practice.

Preparing for the CBT requires understanding its format and developing effective strategies to ensure success.

CBT Overview

The CBT is an electronic assessment method that requires minimal human effort and is delivered and graded using computers. It is tailored to the applicant's desired nursing specialty and evaluates their proficiency in various nursing topics.

Detailed booking instructions and course/module information for the CBT can be found in the CBT information booklet for nurses and midwives provided by the NMC.

Tips for Success

When preparing for the CBT, it is important to familiarize yourself with the exam format, practice with sample questions, and implement time management and elimination of incorrect answers.

By comprehending the exam structure and thoroughly analyzing the NMC CBT blueprint, you can effectively equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence required to succeed in the CBT.

Navigating the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is another vital component of the NMC registration process. This comprehensive assessment tool evaluates healthcare professionals in a clinical environment and is frequently utilized in medical education and licensure exams.

To excel in the OSCE, you need to understand its format and develop effective preparation strategies.

OSCE Exam Format

The OSCE exam comprises ten stations, each assessing a distinct skill. Each station has a set time limit, and the candidate must complete the task within the designated timeframe.

The exam blueprints outline the topics, skills, and procedures that a newly registered nurse must be knowledgeable of and able to demonstrate. The NHS constitutional values and the 6Cs of nursing are given due consideration during the OSCE exams. Every station evaluates them thoroughly.

Preparation Strategies

To ensure success in the OSCE, it is essential to maintain confidence, practice the skills that will be tested, and approach standardized patients as if they were actual patients. Additionally, effective communication is crucial in demonstrating your competence and securing a positive outcome.

By familiarizing yourself with the exam format, practicing the required skills, and taking practice tests, you will be well-prepared to excel in the OSCE.

Completing the NMC Online Account and Application Process

Once you have successfully met the language evidence requirements and passed both the CBT and OSCE, the next step is to complete the NMC online account and application process. This process involves submitting your qualifications, proof of identity, and other necessary documents to the NMC.

Setting Up an NMC Online Account

Establishing an NMC online account is the initial step in the NMC registration process for nurses from abroad. The NMC online account is a secure service that enables nurses to conveniently manage their registration, update their personal details, and pay their fees online.

To join the register, simply select "register as a nurse or midwife" and follow the instructions provided on the NMC website.

Application Steps and Requirements

The application steps for NMC registration comprise self-assessment, eligibility and qualification application, test of competence, and registration. During the application process, you will need to submit evidence of English language proficiency, evidence of completion of 10 years of school education preceding a nurse training program, a health declaration, employer references, and character evidence such as a police clearance certificate or DBS in the UK.

Following the instructions and providing the necessary documents will ensure a smooth and successful application process.

Securing Employment as a Registered Nurse in the UK

After completing the NMC registration process, the final step is to secure employment as a registered nurse in the UK. This involves searching for nursing vacancies, applying for jobs, and preparing for interviews.

By following the strategies and tips outlined in this section, you can increase your chances of finding a suitable nursing position in the UK.

Job Search Strategies

When seeking employment as a registered nurse in the UK, it is important to first undertake Steps 1-4 before beginning the job search. Recruitment agencies and directly contacting employers with a license to sponsor are effective methods for finding nursing vacancies in the UK.

Additionally, consider creating an online portfolio, networking with professionals in the field, and conducting research into potential employers.

Application Tips and Interview Preparation

Ensuring that job applications and interview preparation are thorough is essential for securing employment as a registered nurse in the UK. Review the job application thoroughly, tailor your cover letter to the position, and concisely articulate your experience in a brief 30-second window during interviews.

Following these tips will help you stand out among other candidates and increase your chances of success in the job search process.

Understanding Fees and Financial Aspects of NMC Registration

To successfully register with the NMC, it is important to understand the fees and financial aspects associated with the process. In this section, we will cover the fees involved in NMC registration and the available payment options and support.

The fees for NMC registration vary depending on the type of registration you are applying for. The fees for full registration are £140, while the fees for provisional registration are £90. You can pay.

Fee Overview

The NMC registration fee is £120 and must be paid annually to maintain registration. The total cost for NMC registration, including fees and tests, is £1,170.

It is essential to budget for these fees when planning your nursing career in the UK.

Payment Options and Support

NMC provides a range of payment options and support to assist with the cost of registration, including payment plans, discounts, and grants. Nurses and midwives can pay their annual registration fee through their NMC Online account or opt for quarterly direct debit payments of £30.

Additionally, credit card, debit card, and e-check payments can be made through NMC Self-Service with internet access.


In conclusion, understanding the NMC registration process for overseas nurses is crucial for a successful nursing career in the UK. By following the steps outlined in this guide, from language evidence requirements and test of competence to setting up an NMC online account and securing employment, you will be well-prepared to embark on your journey as a registered nurse in the United Kingdom. Remember, persistence, dedication, and thorough preparation will lead you to success in your nursing career.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for nursing in UK from abroad?

If you are interested in applying for nursing in the UK from abroad, you will need to successfully pass both a Computer-Based Test (CBT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Once your CBT is complete, you must apply for registration within two years.

Take the time to research and prepare for the exams so you can make your application process as smooth as possible.

How long does NMC registration take for overseas nurses?

The NMC registration process for overseas nurses can take up to two months to complete, although the majority of successful applications are processed within 10 working days.

What are the English requirements for NMC overseas nurses?

To meet the English language requirements for NMC overseas nurses, applicants must achieve a minimum score of B in the Occupational English Test (OET) or 7 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) advanced exam across all four components: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The IELTS Academic examination certificate must confirm the minimum scores in each domain. As such, it is essential for applicants to plan and prepare adequately to pass these tests.

What do international nurses need to work in the UK?

International nurses seeking to work in the UK must demonstrate that they have met the standards of proficiency set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and hold a valid NMC PIN. They may also need to pass an IELTS or OET English language test.

Consequently, it is essential that prospective international nurses are aware of these requirements in order to gain employment in the UK.

How do I become a registered nurse in the UK from overseas?

If you're an overseas nurse looking to start a career in the UK, the first step is to complete the NMC Eligibility Assessment, take the recognized examination, pass the computer-based test, complete your Registration Application and search for available job opportunities.

With this guide you can get started on your path to becoming a registered nurse in the UK. MMA Healthcare Recruitment is here to steer you through NMC assessment