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Competency tests not required

British nurses are upset about a recent European Union ruling that effectively bars Britain from requiring foreign nurses from the main continent to pass competency tests before being allowed to work in country. According to the Daily Mail, the Nursing and Midwifery Council will stop administering the tests this fall after being told their current practice could lead to a lawsuit. EU law guarantees “freedom of movement” for workers from the Continent.

At present, foreign nurses, including those from other European countries, must demonstrate at least 450 hours of nursing in their home country within the past three years or attend and pass an intensive three-month refresher course. The no-testing requirement will only apply to nurses from the EU; all other foreign nurses will still be required to prove nursing and basic English competency.

Do you think removing barriers to practice is in the best interest of patients?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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