Nurses from abroad need better English skills than doctors - Requirements of NMBI stricter than mandates of Irish Medical Council
2019-04-01 12:32:05 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem


Nurses and midwives with qualifications from outside of Ireland who want to work here are required to meet higher English language competence than foreign qualified doctors, Metro Éireann has learned.


Since 2 April last year, the NMBI stipulates that such applicants “must now satisfy the board that they have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively in their practice”. It defines communication as “speaking, reading, listening and writing” for which the applicant must show evidence of their competence in the four compulsory skills.


One of the three English language tests which NMBI accepts as proof of English language proficiency is the International English Language Test System (IELTS), which must be dated within two years of application.


Out of the four mandatory communication skills, the NMBI accepts a minimum score of 6.5 in listening and reading and a higher score of 7.0 in both writing and speaking.


However, this is different from that acceptable to Irish Medical Council which oversees qualifications for medical doctors.


“A current academic IELTS certificate with an overall band score of 7.0 and a minimum score of 6.5 in each module is the score accepted,” wrote the council on its website.


Unlike the NMBI, the Irish Medical Council accepts at least four different types of English Language tests for registration of doctors trained outside the EU.


The MNBI had yet to respond to a request for comment at press time.

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