Thursday, June 29, 2017

NMC to lower IELTS English language score from 7.00 to 6.5 for international Nurses to work in the UK

My sources tell me that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) are about to reduce the IELTS English language score from an overall band score of 7.00 back down to 6.5 for international overseas trained nurses applying for registration to work in the UK.

The stringent IELTS requirement has been a stumbling block for many overseas trained nurses who want to apply for a Tier 2 working visa (work permit) to work in the UK as a Nurse (RGN). Even nurses with a UK degree have failed the test a number of times and had to leave the UK as they had run out of time with the Home Office.

Before 2007, nurses had to achieve a score of 6.5 in all four elements - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. This was increased following consultations during a time when the government was trying to put the brakes on non-EU immigration.

The move follows news that NMC (the body which regulates and registers nurses) registrations by EU and non-EU trained nurses have reached worryingly low levels. In December 2016, just 100 EU nurses applied to join the register, compared with 1300 just six months earlier. Earlier this year, we reported that the number of EU nurses registering to working the UK had plummeted by 90%, which NMC head, Jackie Smith blamed on the Brexit effect.

The Nursing Times reported in May that the regulator was 'taking stock' of the English controversial language testing system requirement,which is actually more like an IQ test, after some NHS Trust chief nurses and nursing agencies warned that the exam was blocking overseas nurse recruitment.

There are thousands of nursing job vacancies in the UK in NHS hospitals and nursing homes. If you would like to migrate to the UK on a working visa as a nurse you should visit the NMC website. Most employers will expect you to have at least registered and preferably, where applicable, taken the online test and passed the IELTS exam.

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