The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will write to nurses and midwives who trained overseas or left the profession in the last four to five years to ask them to join the COVID-19 temporary register.
On 27 March, the NMC established the COVID-19 temporary register, which currently consists of nurses and midwives who left the register in the last three years, who are volunteering to come back to work to tackle the current crisis. So far, the temporary register has seen over 8000 people sign up, which Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, described as ‘an amazing response’. She went on to thank healthcare professionals in this time, saying ‘these are truly unprecedented times and seeing such dedication and heroic efforts being made daily by so many will be remembered for generations to come’.
Now, the NMC has announced that it plans to write to two key groups to ask them to join the temporary register. The NMC intends to contact 1800 nurses and midwives who have been trained overseas, applied to the NMC register and have completed all stages except the final clinical examination. It will also write to 40 000 nurses and midwives who left their professions within the last four to five years, including those who have started but not completed return to practice programmes.
Dame Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nurses Chief Executive and General Secretary, said she was ‘humbled by the huge number of former registrants who have already volunteered to return to frontline nursing and look forward to supporting thousands more who will now be invited to join them’. She went on to reassure all overseas nurses that should they choose to join the register, they will be ‘treated and remunerated fairly’ and announced the RCN’s intention to call for the Immigration Health Surcharge to be scrapped for healthcare workers.
The NMC has also said it will announce in the coming weeks whether student nurses in their final six months of training will be invited to join the register, to further expand the workforce while still aiming to provide high-quality healthcare. Currently, these students have the option to continue their final six months in clinical placement, to allow them to contribute to clinical services while they finish their programme.