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United Kingdom > Nursing in the UK- FAQ > NMC Registration/Licensing

In order to practise as a nurse in the UK, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 

EU Applicants - click here to find out more

Non EU Applicants - click here to find out more

We assist our candidates at all stages of the registration process and, most importantly for you, our services are free of charge.

What does this process involve and how long will it take?

As the process is subject to changes, we recommend using the links above to make sure that you get the most accurate and up-to-date information directly from the NMC. 

The process can seem a little daunting at first, but with our years of experience and dedicated recruiters, you can be sure we'll make it as smooth as possible!

The timeframe varies for each individual case.  However, as a rough guide, it takes about 2 months for EU nurses and about 2-3 months for non-EU nurses.

Do I need to take an English test?

All nurses applying to join the NMC register must prove that they have sufficient English language skills to communicate effectively.  Broadly speaking, this means that if you were not trained in English, you will be required to take an English language test.

To assess your own individual circumstances, please click here to visit the NMC website for the most up-to-date information on their requirements.

NMC accept 2 different exams - OET (Occupational English Test) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System).  It is up to you which one you choose to do but your recruiter will be able to advise you. Please click here for full details of the minimum accepted scores for registration.

Frequently asked questions about NMC IELTS requirements

Further information about IELTS can be found here.

Further information about OET can be found here.

What is the NMC Test of Competence (ToC)

The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council)  use the Test of Competence (ToC) to assess the skills and knowledge of people applying to join our register from overseas or rejoin our register after a long period away from practice.

There are two parts, CBT and OSCE


Part one of the Test of Competence is a computer based test known as the CBT. You can sit your CBT or OSCE in any order, but you must successfully complete both parts to continue with your application for initial registration or readmission.  CBT has two parts. Part A will cover numeracy and Part B will cover nursing or midwifery theory. You can find practice tests for the new CBT on Pearson VUE's website. They are accessible to all and do not need to be booked.

New Test of Competence (ToC) launches 2 August,2021

What is changing?

Splitting the Computer Based Test (CBT) into two parts. Part A will cover numeracy and Part B will cover nursing or midwifery theory.

Booking a CBT

The NMC has published guidance, please feel free to contact Profco if you need advice. 

email us to logistics@profco.com or whatsApp + 44 7393535590 or Facebook Messenger https://www.facebook.com/Profco/

Result processing times

For the first few weeks after the new ToC goes live NMC will have extra moderation in place to ensure that all results are fair and accurate. This means that for a short period it may take up to seven working days for candidates to receive their results, rather than our usual target of five working days.

Resources to help you prepare

 NMC has published a range of resources on their website, click here. 


Part two of the Test of Competence is a practical exam known as the OSCE. In this part you'll be tested on your clinical and communication skills. You can sit your CBT or OSCE in any order, but you must successfully complete both parts to continue with your application for initial registration or readmission.

Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) 

From August 2021 The OSCE will have 10 stations currently there are six stations. Four stations will continue to be linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation).Four stations will test skills in two pairs of two skills. Two new stations will be introduced - one will assess the candidate's values and behaviours and the other will assess evidence-based practice. Each station will be assessed against an updated list of relevant criteria.

The Trust who employs you will provide comphrensive training. In addition you can view some preparation materials form the NMC web pages here

How much will it cost?

The total cost of fees and tests is £1,170

These costs could be higher if you need to resit tests. They don't include the cost of your visa, flights to the UK and any accommodation and travel while in the UK.

Breakdown of costs

Paid to NMC on submission of eligibility and qualification application. £153

Computer based test (CBT) cost ( Paid up front for you if you have a job offer via Professional Connections or if you have already paid when you apply to us, the CBT fee will be reimbursed by the Trust when you commence employment.

Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) cost.  The employing hospital  pays this for you. 

Registration fee  Paid to NMC on submission of registration application.

Non EU nurses- let's get you started


After reviewing and understanding the application guide, go to section 2 'Complete eligibility and qualification application', click on 'Begin your application' to start your application.

Simply answer the questions - they are self explanatory.

Please make sure that you choose to register as 'Nurse - Adult'.

After answering the initial questions, you will be directed to sign up to register with NMC online.

Register Account - please fill in your personal and contact details correctly. Please make sure the name should be the same as on your passport.

Once you are logged in to NMC online, you should then complete the 'Eligibility & Qualification'

1. Your passport details 

- Please fill in the information correctly as per your passport

- You will be required to upload a copy of your passport

- Name change certificate or Name affidavit will also be required if applicable

2. Your qualification that will lead to registration

- Please fill in the qualification details correctly as per your qualification certificate

- You will be required to upload a clear copy of your qualification

- Official English translation will be required if the document is not in English

3. Have you been registered?

The NMC needs to know if your qualification will or has allowed you to register in the country you trained in, to make sure that you are eligible to apply for NMC registration.

- Please choose the registration board name and fill in the registration details (nursing) correctly.

- You will be required to upload a clear copy of your qualification

- Official English translation will be required if the document is not in English

After completing the above, you should review your application to make sure all the details are correct to avoid any delays. You are also required to answer three declaration questions. When you're ready to submit your eligibility and qualification application, you'll need to pay the £153 qualification evaluation fee. This fee is non-refundable. You will then be directed to the payment page to complete payment.

Once the NMC received your application and payment, the NMC will contact your regulator (nursing council) to verify your registration or that your qualification would allow you to register with them in the relevant profession. The NMC will send the relevant nursing councils an email with a link for the councils to verify your registration. This process should be very simple and quicker than the old system. But it might take longer in this initial period as it will take time for the overseas nursing councils to adapt to the new NMC request for verification.

The NMC can only evaluate your information once they have everything they need from you, your education institution and your nursing council. Once the NMC have everything they need, they will check to see if your qualification meets their eligibility criteria. They will let you know the outcome of our evaluation by email within 14 days of receiving everything they need.

Once the initial evaluation is completed and accepted, you will be asked to complete a test of competence as well as completing your registration application.

You can only sign up for CBT test once your NMC evaluation is complete.

During the process, the NMC may need to ask you for more information if any of the details you provide are unclear or appear incomplete, or if you or your referee(s) provide conflicting information. If they need to ask you for more information at any point, you will be contacted by email so please check your emails regularly.

Please let us know if you have any questions. You can send us your login details or screenshot to logistics@profco.com so we can check for you.

#nmc #overseasnursingapplication #nursingintheuk #nhs #profco


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