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What do I need to become a registered nurse or midwife in the U.K.?

If you wish to start your journey as a nurse or a midwife in the United Kingdom you must first register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). NEU Professionals will support you with your NMC registration process so you do not need to be registered with the NMC before sending us your application. However it’s recommended that you learn a little about the NMC and their requirements beforehand (it will certainly give you brownie points! ūüėČ )

Our application shortlisting and process

Below you can find a list of all essential requirements and steps to follow for your application with NEU Professionals to be successful.

1. Nursing / Midwifery Degree

You are required to hold a Nursing Degree at post-secondary level leading to registration as a general nurse, or a Midwifery Degree at post-secondary level leading to registration as a Midwife or Nurse-Midwife. This is usually a minimum 3-year programme taught at a university or qualified nursing school. The NMC will contact your educational institution as part of their verification process to confirm their programme meets their requirements.

2. English Language Certificate at the level required by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) – If applicable

All nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). If you are an overseas nurse or midwife and your experience and studies have been mainly accomplished in a non-English speaking country, the NMC requires that you hold a valid Academic IELTS or OET certificate in order to register as a nurse or midwife in the U.K.  This is an essential requirement and your application will not be processed unless you present this certificate. 

IELTS Academic

Minimum scores accepted by the NMC:

  • Listening – 7.0
  • Speaking – 7.0
  • Reading – 7.0
  • Writing – 6.5

Candidates who do not score the minimum required by the NMC may be eligible to combine scores from a second sitting. The combined exams must be taken within 12 months of each other and the score on neither of the combined exams is below a 6.5 for Listening, Speaking, and Reading or below a 6.0 in Writing. When combining scores, a score of 6.0 or higher in Writing will be considered passing.


Minimum score accepted by the NMC:

  • Listening – B (350-440)
  • Speaking – B (350-440)
  • Reading – B (350-440)
  • Writing – C+ (300-340)

Candidates who do not score the minimum required by the NMC may be eligible to combine scores from a second sitting. The combined exams must be taken within 12 months of each other and the score on neither of the combined exams is below a C+ (300-340) for Listening, Speaking, and Reading or below a C (250-290) in Writing. When combining scores, a score of C (250-290) or higher in Writing will be considered passing.

For more detailed information about NMC English language requirements, including a Combining Scores Calculator, please visit the NMC website.

Sponsored English Language Training

Some of our NHS Trusts may sponsor additional OET English training for qualified candidates. This 8-week course will be monitored by NEU Professionals and allow candidates to better prepare to take the OET exam. Currently, this sponsored English Language Training programme is available to:

3. Send us your documents and we will schedule a friendly video interview!

Have you passed your IELTS/OET at the required scores and you think you are eligible to register? Congratulations! Now simply forward your documents (IELTS/OET certificate, up to date CV and passport copy) to or attach them to your application form when applying for a job. If your application is successful, our team of will be in touch to schedule a first video interview with one of our recruiters and give you guidance with the next steps of the process.

Recruitment Consultants reviewing a CV while having a video interview with a candidate.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our NHS Trusts may demand additional required documents prior to scheduling interview. These may include:

  • That you hold a CBT certificate in order to process your application – see point 5¬†for more information.
  • Certain Trusts may ask you to complete a simple test before your interview, such as a “drug calculation test”. These tests will be completed via video call and supervised by your designated NEU Professionals recruitment consultant.

4. Check that you are ready to register

It is advisable that you check if you are eligible to join the NMC register before sending us your application, as it helps speed up the whole process. However, this is not essential and our team will be happy to advise you accordingly depending on your situation and experience.

You can check if you have all the essential requirements to register with the NMC by filling in their Pre-application checklist.  If the NMC agrees that your experience is relevant you will be then required to submit a number of documents so they can assess your fitness to practice. You will receive a decision letter within 60 days.

5. Pass the Computer Based Test (CBT) –¬†NMC Test of Competence (Part 1)

To register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council it is required that you pass their Test of Competence, which is divided in two parts (CBT and OSCE). Once you have received your decision letter, the NMC will give you green light to continue with the process and book your CBT test, which it can be taken in various exam centres around the world. Some NHS Trusts require that you hold this certificate prior sending your application, but it is not always essential to apply. However, it is still advisable that you pass this test before submitting your application or, in the case of CBT not being an essential requirement, that you at least have your exam booked.

6. Forward other relevant documents to us

We will ask you to share other documents with us which we will then send to the NHS Trust. These documents will include:

  • Other ID documents
  • Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) – for every country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.
  • References – from every employer and educational institution you have worked for / attended in the last 3 years.

7. Apply for your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Your NHS Trust will apply for this on your behalf, as they will be acting as your sponsor. You must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (C0S) to apply for your Visa and has a validity of 3 years (it can then be renewed). 

8. Apply for your Visa

As a healthcare professional you will be entitled to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. Our NHS Trusts are mostly happy to refund all Visa costs, but note that this might not always be the case. Your Visa usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks to be processed.

9. Get your luggage ready – The U.K. awaits!

Upon receipt of your visa NEU Professionals will book your flight to the United Kingdom and will arrange transport from the airport to your accommodation. A Trust representative will receive you with open arms and a warm welcome.

10. Pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – NMC Test of Competence (Part 2)

Once you are out of isolation, you will start the OSCE training provided by your NHS Trust which may take between 6-12 weeks depending on the employer. The OSCE exam will take place at one of the NMC approved testing centres in the UK. Your Employer will book the exam for you in advance. 

This exam will mainly assess your knowledge and clinical skills as well as your ability to deal with healthcare scenarios that NHS nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when delivering care to patients.

You will have three attempts to pass your OSCE exam. In the unlikely event of not being successful, you will be asked to return to your home country. Therefore we recommend that you travel to the U.K. alone in the first instance until you have passed your OSCE and everything is settled.

You will receive your results within 5 days. 

Group of nurses giving each other high-fives

11. Celebrate! You are now officially a Registered Nurse in the United Kingdom!

Within a few days of receiving the good news about your OSCE results, you will receive your Nursing and Midwifery Council PIN Number and you may officially call yourself a U.K. registered nurse or midwife!


NEU Professionals Limited is an International Healthcare Recruitment Agency headquartered in London, United Kingdom. 

All of our nursing vacancies come with a portfolio of benefits – please review our NHS Benefits section below.

We embrace and champion the values of ethical recruitment outlined in the NHS Code of Practice for International Recruitment and the World Health Organisation guidelines. This means that you can be reassured of the following:

  • The recruitment is legitimate and compliant and always adhering to UK and sourcing country‚Äôs regulatory requirements.
  • You will not be charged any fees in relation to gaining your employment in the UK ‚Äď our services are completely FREE.
  • The roles you will be offered will deliver extensive opportunities for training, education and enhancement of your clinical skills.
  • We will always be fully transparent with you and disclose all of the information you need about the Trust, vacancy you are applying for, geographical area and costs of living to enable you to make an informed choice.
  • You will have a nominated Recruitment Consultant who will look after you throughout every stage of the recruitment/registration process, the entire relocation, your cultural adaptation journey and beyond.

Permanent jobs for nurses, paid holidays, flexible working hours and childcare support are some of the benefits for NHS employees, but the chances are there are more advantages to being a part of the NHS than you realise.

Whichever area you join, you become part of a talented, passionate team of professionals, committed to providing the best care and treatment to patients. You will also enjoy one of the most competitive and flexible benefits packages offered by any employer in the UK.

Everyone who joins the NHS is guaranteed a competitive salary that matches their ability and responsibilities, plus pay enhancements on top of your basic salary for out-of-hours, shift and overtime working and given every opportunity to increase it through training and development.

On top of your basic salary, you will receive a generous holiday entitlement of at least 27 days’ holiday each year, rising to 29 days after five years’ service and 33 days after 10 years’ service, plus eight general and public holidays, plus a range of other benefits including occupational health and counselling services.

The NHS recognises that many employees have caring responsibilities outside of work and that from time to time, emergency leave may be required. The Trusts also offer comprehensive maternity, paternity and adoption leave schemes with benefits in excess of the statutory schemes.

Register with us today!

Please write your name as it appears on your passport
Please select the country where you are currently practising as a Registered Nurse
Please provide a short (max 200 word) summary of your career to-date (post registration) including wards / departments / clinics you have worked on and which patient conditions you have caring experience.

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