The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulatory body for nurses and midwives in the UK. Nurses who want to work in the UK need to register with the NMC, and one of the requirements for registration is to demonstrate their English language proficiency.
To demonstrate English language proficiency, nurses can take either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the OET (Occupational English Test). Both tests assess the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), but the OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and focuses on language skills that are relevant to the healthcare sector.
For nurses who choose to take the IELTS test, the NMC requires an overall score of at at least 7 for reading, listening, and speaking, and at least 6.5 for writing.
The Academic version of the IELTS test is designed for students who want to study at university or college in an English-speaking country. It assesses a candidate’s ability to use academic language and skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
For nurses who choose to take the OET test, the NMC requires at least a B grade (350 or higher) in reading, listening, and speaking, and at least a C+ (300 or higher) grade in writing. They accept OET on Paper, OET on Computer. The OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals, and the test assesses a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals in English.
It’s important to note that meeting the English language proficiency requirement is just one of the criteria that nurses need to meet in order to register with the NMC and work in the UK. They must also hold a recognized nursing qualification and meet other eligibility criteria.
If you’re a nurse planning to work in the UK, it’s recommended that you check the specific language proficiency requirements set by the NMC and the institution you’re applying to, as they may have additional requirements or different accepted tests.