Working as a nurse in the UK

Working as a nurse in the UK presents great career opportunities and, due to a domestic shortage, the National Health Service (NHS) is reliant on overseas medical professionals. Recruitment drives are frequently held in other countries to attract talented individuals, while others might apply of their own volition.

Becoming a nurse or midwife in the UK is a fantastic opportunity. Here’s essential advice to ensure you succeed.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how can an overseas nurse come to the UK and work as a nurse or midwife?Well, the answer is two-fold.The application process to become a nurse in the UK is long and involved, requiring a lot of paperwork.

Plus the requirements are different for those that trained within the European Economic Area (due to EU employment regulations) and those that trained outside the EEA.To help you navigate through the process, the following advice is essential for anyone seeking a nursing position in the UK:

Registration with the Nursing Council

To work as a nurse in the UK, all applicants must register with the NMC, which is the body that officially regulates nursing and midwifery professionals. The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulatory body for UK nurses.As an overseas nurse, you will need to acquire both a UK Work permit (and an employer who is able to sponsor you) and NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) registration.To be able to practise in the UK as a nurse or midwife, every nurse needs to have a current registration and PIN number.If you go to the NMC’s site, you will be able to see the required information for registering as a nurse or midwife in the UK.The NMC will determine whether you need to do any adaptation or if your nursing qualification can be automatically recognised and a PIN number issued without condition.The decision will either be registration, rejection or the requirement to undertake a period of Supervised Practice.To find a placement, it is best to contact hospitals directly.Bear in mind that registration with the NMC does not offer the right to work in the UK – a visa will still be necessary for non-EEA nationals.

Overseas Nursing Programme / Adaptation to Midwifery Programme

Those accepted onto the NMC register that have been trained outside the EEA will be required to take a nursing or midwifery course to adapt their existing skills to allow them to practice in UK.Individuals will need to enrol on a course before they arrive in the UK; course providers can be found via the NMC website.While completing the course, applicants may be able to find work in the UK as Healthcare Assistants or as an Auxiliary Trained Abroad worker.Once the course is finished, they may gain their NMC registration.For those nurses who have received training outside the EU/EEA, there is a competence test (CBT) and a practical examination of skills called the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).For more information about these assessments, please look here.


As of June 2018, the UK government announced it would relax the rules for these visas, so there is no longer a cap on the number that can be issued.So, if you’re an overseas nurse wanting to work in the UK, you will need to have a look at the Home Office for information on UK work permits.If you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you will need to apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa.

Shortage occupation list

It’s a well known fact that the UK nursing community comprises many nationalities, however, this has sometimes had a negative affect on home nations, leaving them short of talent themselves.To ensure more ‘ethical recruitment’, the British government’s Department of Health has drawn up a list of developing countries from which applicants should not be hired.These include Albania, Kenya, Turkey and four Indian states. In a similar vein, certain nursing positions have been taken off the UK Shortage Occupation List, which details the country’s most urgently needed professions.This means that domestic applicants will be preferred over overseas nurses for some roles. It is worth checking beforehand.

Proficiency in English is essential

Applicants will be asked to take English tests via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), to demonstrate that they can understand and communicate confidently when on British shores. The tests cover listening, reading, writing and speaking. A minimum overall score of 7.0 is required for NMC registration.The English language requirements are detailed here. There are several ways to provide the necessary evidence of language proficiency, so please have a read through this page.

Apply well in advance

As you can probably discern, applying to work as a nurse in the UK is time-consuming and complicated.Consequently, it is important to send your application off well in advance of the date you actually would like to arrive in the UK.Ensure you have your diplomas, birth certificate, training log and references to hand, to expedite the process.Similarly, here’s what to know if you’re a UK nurse looking to work in Australia.Find nursing jobs and midwifery jobs here at

Registered nurse travel demand has increased by 44% over the last 30 days as of today amid the surge in Covid-19, according to data collected by healthcare staffing firm Aya Healthcare that represents major health systems across the US.

There were 31,540 open needs for travel nurses as of today, and 48% of current open travel nurse positions are “crisis” positions. Crisis jobs are those requested in response to urgent client situations and usually include a rapid start date, variable contract length, increased bill rate, modified onboarding requirements and often an increased number of hours per week.

On a year-over-year basis, Aya’s data shows that open travel nurse jobs were up 217% today when compared with the same day last year.

The five states with the highest nursing demand on Nov. 30 were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Minnesot

Study Abroad
Studying Abroad Can Change the Way You See The World

Study Abroad Programs give you the opportunity to experience the world as your classroom. Rather than picking things up from books and the Internet, navigating a new landscape may open your eyes to culture, history, a new language or your heritage. Studying Abroad opens the door to personal growth and discovery too. As you learn to say ‘hello’ in a foreign language, make friends, eat exciting new foods, it is bound to boost your confidence, teach you self-reliance and stretch the parameters of your comfort zone.

Making Travel Arrangements fro Study Abroad

Many study abroad programs take care of participants’ international travel and housing arrangements. If this is not the case with your program, then it will be your responsibility to arrange for travel to your program site and/or find your own accommodations. You may also want to consider making plans for your own transportation and housing if you decide to do additional traveling at the end of your program.

Housing Abroad

If housing is not provided for you by your study abroad program, give yourself plenty of time to arrange for it. Since student housing is at a premium in most countries, ask for housing recommendations from a representative from your program. If you are enrolling directly in a foreign university, contact the university to see if there is a student housing office which can assist you in your search for accommodation.

Youth Hostels

When traveling on weekends, during school breaks or at the end of your study abroad experience, you may want to consider staying in a youth hostel. Hostels are much cheaper than hotels and can range from dormitory-style room to private rooms. They may have restrictions. For example, they may impose curfews, require you to bring your own bedding or limit your stay to a certain number of nights.

In order to stay in hostels, you may be required to have an International Youth Hostel Pass, another form to obtain before your departure. The pass and a handbook with locations and contact information are available from:
Hosteling International/American Youth Hostels
National Office
P.O. Box 37613
Room 804
Washington, DC 20013-7613

Many countries also have student hostels, which are restricted to use by university students. These usually offer more conveniences than youth hostels, such as food service, and are a great way to meet other international students. You may need to have a valid International Student Identity Card to prove your student status. Lastly, some independent hostels exist, open to students as well as to other travelers.

Other Accommodations

Other options for accommodations when you travel are bed-and-breakfasts, pensions, and budget hotels. Talk to your travel advisor before departure about budget accommodations at your travel destinations. You can also browse the travel section of a local bookstore for travel guidebooks aimed at college students. You can also browse accommodations in Lonely Planet Guidebooks which are largely geared to the student traveler.

The senior consultant has 10 Years of Experience in career Counselling.

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