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Overseas Nursing Program (ONP)

From the 1st September 2006 all qualified overseas nurses wishing to become registered with the NMC will now be required to undertake 20 days protected learning, allowing them to become familiarised with nursing practices in the UK. In addition to this the NMC may require some applicants to do an additional period of supervised practice in an institution that has been audited by an education provider approved by the NMC.

Important questions frequently asked:

What are the reasons for the introduction of the Overseas Nursing Program?

The program is an attempt by the NMC to level of the quality of supervised practice placements as it has been noted in the past the quality and standard of training varied greatly. The ONP programme is designed to produce a uniformly high standard for applicants wanting to register with the NMC.

Who Can Undertake the Overseas Nursing Program?

All overseas applicants (except those from EEA States) who have an assessment letter dated from 1st September 2005 will have to enrol onto the new ONP.

What qualifications are required to undertake the training?

Candidate must show that they have gained confirmation from the Nursing & Midwifery Council acknowledging their eligibility:

For admission to the Overseas Nursing Programme,
To undertake a period of supervised practice,
To undertake an adaptation programme leading to registration as a midwife.

Candidates also need to show they have been offered:

A supervised practice placement through an education provider that is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council,
A supervised practice placement in a setting approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council,
A midwifery adaptation programme placement in an educational institute approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and a midwifery practice setting which has been approved for pre-registration midwifery studies.

Does the new ONP system mean that the approved educational institution will now control the programme and assess the suitability of registration?

Any approved educational institution will work in partnership with the service providers to deliver the training program. The educational institute will be responsible for enrolling ONP candidates into the programme. The 20 day protected learning period may be undertaken in practice and/or approved educational institution settings. The independent setting will be either in a NHS Trust, independent sector hospital, nursing home or other approved practice setting and will be affiliated to the approved educational institution.

Where can overseas trained nurses undergo there supervised practice experience?

This is dependent on the assessment letter issued by the NMC. Some candidates may be required to undergo additional training in specialist areas eg. Mental health setting. If a specific setting or particular experience is not stated on the assessment letter the applicant may be placed in a clinical environment that has been audited by an approved education institute. The approved educational institute partnership will decide upon the suitability of the clinical environment in partnership with the service provider.

Some Placements may be found in nursing homes is this within ONP criteria?

Providing the above requirements are met a placement in a nursing home is acceptable. However this is dependent on the nursing home being within the approved educational institute’s partnership framework, and must be audited by the same institution that is approved to run the ONP.

What qualifications are required for a mentor?

The mentor should be affiliated with the same part of the register as that which the overseas trained nurse in intending to enter. They must also meet the NMC standards for mentors.

What is the employment status of the ONP during the programme?

The overseas trained nurses will be supernumerary during the 20 days of protected learning. This means they are not counted in staffing numbers at that time. However where they are required to undertake a period of supervised practice they may be employed for this part of the programme.

Nurse / Midwife Applicant

20 days Protected Learning

Enter country to start employment

Route for applicants granted 20 days protected learning + supervised practice

Nurse / Midwife Applicant

20 days protected learning + supervised practice

Enter country for employment and training Under Tier 2 (General)