Nurses who are registered as living in Northern Ireland are being investigated as part of a probe into a test centre in Nigeria. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched an investigation after concerns were raised over a centre in Nigeria where nurses hoping to work in the UK would normally sit a professional competency test. International nurses coming to work in the UK must first pass a computer-based test (CBT), normally in their home country, and a practical test in the UK.
Pearson VUE, which runs the CBT programme on the NMC’s behalf, recently alerted the regulatory body to “anomalous data” at a CBT test centre in Ibadan, Nigeria. The NMC is now writing to all international nurses who took their CBT at the centre to tell them they are opening cases “to determine whether or not they gained fraudulent or incorrect entry” to the nursing register.
It is not possible to say whether any of the affected nurses are currently working in Northern Ireland. However, an NMC spokesman said a number of the nurses were registered as living in Northern Ireland. No determinations have been made on the fitness to practise of the nurses in question and they were allowed to continue working without any restrictions. The NMC has been unable to say how long it will take to complete the investigation into the concerns.
In total, 512 people on the NMC register took their CBT at the test centre about which concerns have been raised. A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The NMC has advised the Department that it is currently working to contact the small number of nursing and midwifery registrants affected by this issue and to identify their employers.
“If there are any cases in Northern Ireland then the NMC will inform the relevant employer and Department of Health.