English language tests for international applications and the NMC

All International Nurses are now required to pass either IELTS or OET. Skills4nurses will assist you with this process.

Step 1: English Language Test

For NMC purposes: You can take either the UK IELTS or Academic IELTS and score 7 in each section & 6.5 in Writing or you can take the OET and score a B in each section and a C+ in Writing.

For more information on the IELTS see here.
For more information on the OET see here.


Step 2: Initial NMC registration

You need to upload your Passport, Qualification and Registration information to the NMC website.

For more information on the NMC registration requirements see here.


Step 3: NMC test of competence part 1 – CBT

Once the eligibility assessment is passed, you will be asked to sit the first part of the test of competence. This will be a computer-based test (CBT) of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test format will be multiple choice and can be taken in test centres around the world. Applicants will need to contact Pearson Vue, the test provider, to book and pay for their test.

For more information on the CBT see here.


Step 4: Completing NMC final registration

You will then provide health declaration, police clearances and English language evidence before arriving in the UK. These documents MUST be uploaded to your account before you fly to the UK.

Arriving in the UK

Once you have passed your CBT we can start the visa application and arrange a start date with you.

When you arrive in the UK you will be required to book the second part of your assessment (your employer may book this for you).

This is a practical examination called an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).

This will act out scenarios which nurses are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, carry out and evaluate care.

You can take the OSCE in the following places (speak to us about booking on to a course) :

Oxford Brookes University. Note, this University has two locations for the test, Oxford and Swindon. You will not know which location until the test is booked, as it is based on availability. You can find out more information on their website here.

University of Northampton. You can find out more information here.

Ulster University. You can find out more information here.

Skills4nurses Suggested Reading


We suggest you read the following:

NMC – joining the register

We will support you as much as we can through this process and strongly recommend you visit the NMC website for further information.

Your Skills4nurses representative can assist you with all the above at your first interview session.

Skills4nurses adhere to the UK "Code of Practice for International Recruitment"