NMC announce changes to its IELTS for overseas nurses wishing to work in the UK

IELTS for overseas nurses – The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK has come up with a new set of standards to its English Language Proficiency requirements for the overseas nurses and midwives, who aspire to work in that country, as per an NMC statement.

According to the new change that came in the announcement, the nurses and midwives from other countries, who desire to take up employment in the UK nevertheless have to earn a minimum overall score of seven in IELTS, noted the report, adding that however, a 6.5 score in the Writing section of the test will be accepted alongside a seven score in each of the Reading, Listening and Speaking sections of the test. The British Council, which conducts the IELTS pan India spreading across 45 locations recognises the opportunity this change provides to test takes wanting to work the nursing profession in the UK, said the report.

Elaborating on the new changes, Michael King, Managing Director, BC Examinations and English Services India, private limited, said: “The British Council is committed to creating opportunities for people to succeed in India and across the world. IELTS is one of the world’s most popular high-stakes English language tests, with over three million tests taken in the past year. We look forward to continuing providing support and guidance to those nurses and midwives looking to work in the UK, so that they may achieve the IELTS score requirements announced by the NMC.”

IELTS is the most widely used test of English for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. It is recognized by more than 10,000 universities, schools, employers and immigration bodies, including all universities in Australia and the UK and many of the leading institutions in the US, added the report.


The proficiencies, if implemented, will serve a range of purposes as follows:

  • They set out for patients and the public what nursing associates know and can do when they join the NMC register
  • The standards help nursing associates by providing clarity about their role
  • Read alongside the nursing standards of proficiency, they demonstrate the synergies and differences between the two roles
  • For nurses and other health and care professionals, the standards provide clarity on the knowledge and skills they can reasonably expect all nursing associates to have and this will help inform safe decisions about delegation
  • Employers understand what, nursing associates can contribute to the health and wellbeing of patients and service users and can make effective decisions about whether and how to use the role
  • Educators must develop and deliver programs that equip nursing associates with the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to meet these standards of proficiency when they qualify
  • The nursing associate is a new role being introduced into the health and care workforce in England from 2019
  • It is a generic role – not defined by a field of nursing – but within the discipline of nursing
  • Nursing associates are intended to bridge a gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses
  • While the nursing associate role is new, it is particularly important that the public, health and care professionals and employers can develop an understanding of what nursing associates know and can do

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