More nurses trained overseas can now join the Covid-19 temporary register, it was announced yesterday, in a joint statement from the NMC and the four UK chief nursing officers.
The NMC will take ‘immediate action’ to invite additional internationally trained nurses to join its emergency register, launched earlier this year to expand the workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The register was initially open to overseas nurses who had completed all parts of their registration except their objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), but those with a registration application and relevant support declaration can now also join.
NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘The need for as many people as possible to provide skilled care and support in hospitals, nursing homes and in the community has never been greater to ensure the NHS and social care can continue to provide kind, safe and effective care.’
Initially, the NMC will reach out to just over 2,000 nurses who have trained overseas and been issued with their OSCE decision letters, to invite them to the temporary register.
From next week, it will contact overseas-trained nurses who have provided relevant support declarations, and check with employers about English ability, clinical skills, and health and character.
‘While we’re expanding the temporary register in this way, we will continue to support and process applications to the permanent register,’ Ms Sutcliffe added.
Conditions of practice are applied to temporary registration such as always working under the direction of an NMC-registerd professional.
No overseas-trained midwives will be invited to join the temporary register, as maternity services are ring-fenced to maintain midwifery care for women, babies and families.
OSCE centres will remain open to support overseas-trained professionals to register permanently, but the temporary register will run at the same.
The NMC expanded the register in December to nursing and midwifery professionals whose registration lapsed between 1 March 2020 and 30 November 2020, to help support Covid vaccine rollout.
When the temporary register first launched, it was open to professionals whose registrations had lapsed between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2020, and some overseas-trained nurses.