The NMC will alter the registration process for nurses who have trained outside of the European Economic Area from this autumn, it announced.
From 1 October, nurses trained overseas will be required to take a competence test comprised of a multiple choice computer examination and a practical objective supervised clinical test (OSCE). This will replace the three to 12 month supervised practice exam. The General Medical Council and the General Dental Council have used the system for years, the NMC said.
Commenting on the new registration process, Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the QNI, said: 'Taking the online assessment at a test centre in their home country and then an OSCE in the UK will provide a good measure of competence. This does not however reduce the employer's responsibility in ensuring ongoing competence to practice when nurses are employed, and a period of induction and mentoring.'
Howard Catton, the RCN's director of policy, said: 'There are some aspects which we support.' He added:that the RCN would like to know more about what support and supervision will be provided to newly-registered overseas nurses.'
NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said: 'We think it allows us to make an objective assessment of an applicant at the time they make their application.'