IELTS and English language requirements for Nurses in the UK

IELTS for Nurses

IELTS requirements for international nursing applicants
working in the UK.

IELTS for Nurses

If you a nurse or midwife from outside the EU/EEA, you must complete and pass the IELTS test before sending your application to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The NMC will only accept the Academic IELTS test and to apply to become a nurse in the UK, applicants must achieve a 7.0 IELTS score in reading, writing, listening and speaking elements, with a 7.0 score overall. Applicants who do not reach the required score will be rejected.

If you are an international applicant from English-speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA, an Academic IELTS test is still required to successfully apply.


What is the Nursing and Midwifery Council?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulate nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The NMC ensure that skills and knowledge of the profession are up to standard, also maintaining a register of all who are allowed to practice in the UK.

Which IELTS test do I need to complete?

Applicants must take and complete Academic IELTS. General Training IELTS is not accepted.

What Academic IELTS score do I need to be a nurse or midwife in the UK?

Nurses from outside the EU need a 7.0 score or above in all four elements of the exam.

Why do I need such a high Academic IELTS score?

Following consultations beginning in 2003, it was decided that a score of 7.0 was the lowest acceptable level of language ability due to the requirements of the role.

I scored 6.5 in one of the IELTS elements, can I still apply?

No. A score of 7.0 is required in all four elements, as well as your overall score. Anything below 7.0 will not be considered.

I took my IELTS test three years ago and scored 7.0. Will my application be accepted?

IELTS scores are only valid for two years but if you can prove your current English ability to the NMC, exceptions can be made.

Do nurses from the EU and UK need to take the IELTS test?

Nurses from the EU and UK do not need to take an IELTS test, but following a change in application procedure from 18th January 2016, they will need to show their ability to communicate safely and effectively in English.

I am a native English speaker from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA, do I need to take an IELTS test?

Even if you are an international native English speaker, you are still required to take the IELTS test.

How we can help

If you are interested in signing up to IELTS Nursing classes in London, arrange a free IELTS consultation today.

Contact SI-UK and begin your path towards hitting your target IELTS score!

The IELTS class is a very effective way of preparing yourself for the IELTS test. I learned to use my English in new ways.
Louise Karlsson

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