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  • Writer's pictureJibin Vakanil

Nursing Jobs in UK: What are the Language Requirements?


Evidence of acceptable English language skills is a requirement for international graduates if you are not from the approved list of English-speaking countries. Let's look at different tests available:

There are (only) two types of language tests approved by Nursing and Midwifery Council, which is called as NMC.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)


The Occupational English Tests (OET)


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication.

Areas testing are:

  • Speaking

  • Listening

  • Writing

  • Reading.



It uses a nine-band scale to identify levels of proficiency,

from non-user (band score 1) being the lowest to expert (band score 9).


IELTS test scores remain valid for two years.

There is no limit to the number of times candidates can sit the IELTS exam

What do I need?

A score of 7 is required inand the test has to be academic not the general version. A minimum score of 7.0 must be achieved in each section, except writing where the requirement is 6.5.

The NMC will only accept the IELTS Academic test. You must ensure it is the UK VI IELTS for Visa Immigration purposes.


The Occupational English Test is a newer alternative to the IELTS. Biggest difference compared to IELTS is this test is more focused on healthcare language and scenarios than the more general english language question in the IELTS. The OET is accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, however candidates must also complete the IELTS for UKVI as part of their visa application and score a 4.0 for each section. Like the IELTS, the OET tests against the same 4 sections:

  • Speaking

  • Listening

  • Writing

  • Reading.

Candidates must score at least a ‘B’ in each section.

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