New language requirements for EU nurses and midwives

From 18 January 2016, new language requirements for Economic European Area (EEA) trained nurses and midwives joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register come into effect.
Designed to strengthen public protection, the new controls mean that nurses and midwives will be asked to demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge of English to practice safely in the UK.

Key changes to the requirements
• The regulatory body has announced that from January, EEA nurses and midwives will be asked to prove that they have sufficient evidence of English language skills, for example having worked or trained in an English-speaking country. If a nurse or a midwife is unable to demonstrate these requirements, he or she will be asked to complete an English language assessment.
• Nurses and midwives who have already completed one of the NMC's pre-registration courses will automatically meet the new requirements.
• New legislation will also give the NMC powers to investigate a nurse or midwife whose fitness to practice has been called into question over their ability to communicate effectively in English.

Further information
For more help and information, NHS Employers has published a language competency good practice guide. More general information can be found on the NMC website.



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