Nursing and Midwifery Council Updates English Language Requirements: A Step Towards a Diverse Healthcare Workforce

Starting February 8th, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will be implementing new English language requirements for aspiring nurses and midwives in the UK. These changes come with the aim of increasing diversity in the healthcare workforce while maintaining high standards of English proficiency for safe patient care.

What are the changes?

– Flexibility in Test Scores: The NMC has updated the minimum scores required to pass the International English Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET). The best part? Applicants can now combine their scores across up to 12 months, giving them more time to prepare and greater flexibility.

– Supporting Evidence: If you have worked for at least a year in a health and social care setting in the UK, you can now use that as additional evidence of your English proficiency. You can provide evidence if:

  • You trained in English in a non-majority English-speaking country.
  • You missed the required score by 0.5 (IELTS) or half a grade (OET) on one of the four language domains, provided you have exhausted all test combining options.


The NMC’s goal is to provide a path for a more diverse group of individuals to join the registry and enter the workforce. The council believes that these changes will help in achieving that goal while ensuring patient safety is not compromised.

For more information, visit the NMC website and the international recruitment web page of NHS Employers. The new requirements will be fully operationalized by the summer, so stay tuned for updates!