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Ulster University is to open a new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) competence test centre to meet growing demands for overseas nurses and midwives who wish to work in the UK, only one of three such centres in the UK.

The centre will be open in the Spring at Ulster University’s Magee campus, the new centre will be delivered by the University’s School of Nursing and will ensure that nurses and midwives who trained outside of EU and EEA meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards to join the register.

Ulster University will deliver the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which tests applicant’s skills, knowledge and behaviours in a simulated practice environment.

Ulster University’s appointment by the NMC brings the number of competence test centres in the UK to three. Ulster University joins newly appointed Oxford Brookes University and the existing NMC competence test centre at the University of Northampton.

Ulster University has an international reputation for nursing excellence and is rated 6th in the UK and 41st in the world for nursing.

Ulster University’s Professor Owen Barr said:

“Nurses and midwives from overseas make a valuable contribution in the UK but it’s vital they have the right skills and qualifications.

“The OSCE qualification now offered at Ulster University will ensure that by undertaking this exam the hundreds of nurses and midwives who apply to work in the UK each year have gained professional registration and that they are fit to practice in the UK at the required standard.

“This appointment is the perfect fit for Ulster University. Our high national student satisfaction scores ensures we are a university of choice for students seeking the very best education from a globally recognised international teaching and research centre of excellence.”

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

“The NMC recognises the invaluable contribution that nurses and midwives trained outside the EU and EEA make and the vital role they play in the UK’s health and care workforce.

“It is important that nurses and midwives trained outside the EU and EEA wanting to join our register are able to sit this test in a variety of locations across the UK. This new test centre will help to ensure that nurses and midwives with the right skills and knowledge join our register can do so in a timely way.”