The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that come April 1 2019, the costs of the tests overseas nurses, midwives and nursing associates must take to work in the UK will be reduced by more than 20% in order to attract more candidates to the UK.
This means the cost of the computer-based test of competence will be reduced from £130 to £90, the full cost of the practical exam from £992 to £794 and to resit the practical exam will now cost £397 instead of £496.
The decision to reduce these fees has come into effect to aid recruitment and attract more overseas nurses to live and work in the UK.
In addition to this, the NMC is also proposing new measures to make it easier for nurses to re-join the register after a career break, allowing former nurses and midwives to choose a test of competence to ensure their skills and knowledge are up-to-date. This is opposed to forcing returners to undertake a course that can take between three and twelve months to complete.
These proposed changes will make it ‘as straight forward and cost effective as possible for people with the right skills to join it’s register’, the NMC said.
This announcement follows the release of a report by the Health Foundation, Kings Fynd and Nuffield trust, which found that the NHS will face a shortfall of 108,000 full-time equivalent nurses in ten years’ time, on current trends.
Chief Executive and registrar at the NMC, Andrea Sutcliffe, has expressed that ‘by proposing a new way for even more people to get back to work after a break, and reducing the cost of the overseas test, we can enhance the numbers of professionals with the right skills coming onto our register. These are people we know are committed to providing the best and safest care possible.’
Ms Sutcliffe hopes that both of these changes demonstrates that the NMC is playing a part in positively addressing the nursing and midwifery shortages that exist in health services across the UK.
This announcement is fantastic news for overseas nurses wanting to work in the UK, and returning registered nurses alike.
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