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Additional 2,000 nurses to be invited to join temporary register

In an effort to further support the UK’s Covid-19 response, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is set to invite two new groups of overseas-trained nurses to join the temporary register.

This will equate to just over 2,000 additional people being temporarily approved to practice in the UK, under supervision of an NMC-registered nurse or other registered healthcare professional.

Initially, the NMC will approach people from the first of the two groups: nurses trained overseas, who are ready to take the final stage of their permanent registration application process.

Then, from next week, they will also begin contacting overseas-trained nurses from whom the NMC has received a registration application and relevant supporting declarations.

For this second group, the NMC will work with employers to identify who they wish to include on the temporary register and to provide certification regarding each applicant’s English language ability, clinical skills, health and character.

The new cohort of overseas temporary registrants will continue to operate under supervision during their time working, and under the same conditions as those already on the temporary register.

RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “The measures announced today are vital to expand the nursing workforce temporarily and help services in providing care to patients.

“The level of vacant nurse jobs in England was high before the pandemic and nursing staff have been stretched even further in the last 10 months.

“With many of the expected overseas nurses coming from BAME backgrounds, our concerns about appropriate PPE in light of the new variant of Covid-19 take on a renewed importance. We urge government ministers and scientists to recommend higher level PPE as a precaution immediately. This is for all nursing staff working in Covid-19 settings, whether permanent or temporary members of the NMC register.

“The government and regulator must work closely with employers to ensure that new recruits are appropriately assessed, trained and vaccinated like other staff.

“In the longer-term, the UK must end its over-reliance on overseas nursing staff by investing in domestic education programmes and providing the real financial support nursing students require.”

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