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New qualification enables overseas nurses to gain UK nursing registration

10 May 2016

Staff at West Middlesex University Hospital with overseas nursing qualifications are benefiting from an exciting partnership between Middlesex University London and Health Education England: North West London (HEE:NWL), which will enable them to achieve registration with the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Staff at West Middlesex University Hospital with overseas nursing qualifications are benefiting from an exciting partnership between Middlesex University London and Health Education England: North West London (HEE:NWL), which will enable them to achieve registration with the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Overseas nursing qualifications are not recognised in the UK and so these nurses are unable to practice here, instead often choosing to work as Healthcare Support Workers. This new APEL (Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning) route to nursing from Middlesex University London sees students complete a pre-registration nursing course in 18 months by way of a 6 month module called ‘Transition to nursing in the UK and graduate study’ before joining Year 3 of  either the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course or the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing course.

This is the first year West Middlesex University Hospital has worked with Middlesex University London and has successfully recruited 5 students to the programme, who had all previously worked as Healthcare Support Workers in the hospital. The course lasts 18 months and on successful completion, the students will achieve their NMC registration in September 2017.

The students currently on the course, which started in March, have commented on their first few weeks: “It is quite overwhelming and challenging but we have so much support from the Trust’s Faculty of Nursing and we would like to thank them for that. I didn’t think I would ever get a UK nursing qualification but this has given me the opportunity to do so, and I look forward to other HCAs from the hospital being able to do the same. It is going to make a big difference to our professional nursing progression.”

Marion Taylor (Director of Programmes at Middlesex University London) said: “This qualification recognises that there are a number of support workers who have been unable to gain their NMC registration and it opens up the opportunity for them to do so. The APEL route formally accredits students’ previous nursing education from all over the world, alongside their UK HCA experience, which are both equally valuable.”

Ann Jawino (Senior Practice Development Nurse at West Middlesex University Hospital) said: “We have had a positive response from our ward managers and mentors who are always happy to have the students work with them as they are already familiar with the hospital and with clinical practice. This is a great opportunity for them to advance their professional development in a supported environment and achieve their NMC registration.”

If any overseas registered nurses working as Healthcare Support Workers in the Trust are interested in this opportunity, please contact Andrea Wheeler (Clinical Vocational Development Lead) andrea.wheeler@chelwest.nhs.uk or  Edwin Dela Cruz (Head of Faculty of Nursing) edwin.delacruz@chelwest.nhs.uk.

Please note: Middlesex University are only able to accept applications from healthcare support workers employed within the North West London Health Education area. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust can only facilitate applications for their own healthcare support staff and specific conditions must be met to be eligible to apply.