Overseas Nurses working in the UK

There are many benefits of working as a nurse in the United Kingdom (UK), but if you are considering a move to the UK to work in the National Health Service (NHS) or a private hospital, there are a few steps you need to take before you can practice as a registered nurse. 

Benefits of working in the UK

The UK has one of the most revolutionary and progressive healthcare systems in the world. Whether you work for the NHS or a private healthcare provider, you can be sure that you are joining a national workforce who not only provides first-class care, but makes history each and every day.

Many of the NHS Trusts that we partner with offer fantastic training options for their nurses, from full inductions and preceptorships to complete career development programmes, opening up a world of training opportunities in specialist areas and locations. 

When you’re not at work, the UK has a huge variety of activities and recreational opportunities. Steeped in history, the UK offers the perfect mix of vibrant, modern cities and a wealth of rural landscapes - from the snowy mountain ranges in Scotland and the rolling Oxford countryside, to the sandy shores of the West Country.

If you are a Nurse wanting to work in the UK, we can support your application with the NMC / Immigration and discuss opportunities with our clients who have a Tier two sponsporship VISA. 

Process for nurses educated outside the EEA

Since October 2014, the only route to registration for all nurses trained outside the UK and EEA with the NMC is through a 2-part application process.

Part one – a computer based multiple-choice examination which will be accessible in many countries around the world for applicants to access in their home countries.

Part two – a practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will always be held in the UK.

This process does not require applicants to complete a period of supervised practice.

For further information about the application process and the test of competence please visit the NMC website

EEA nationals who have trained outside the EEA will not be eligible for automatic recognition of their qualification under the EU Directives as they have not trained within an EU member state. Further information is available from the NMC website.

Nurses trained outside of the UK must also meet the English language standards set by the NMC. This can be demonstrated: 

by successfully completing a language test such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET).

IELTS is a universally recognised international test of English language proficiency and measures language ability of people who wish to study and/or work where English is the main language of communication. Those taking the IELTS need to achieve achieving a minimum overall level of 7 (from 5 December 2018, although, a minimum overall level of 7 is required, a level 6.5 in writing will be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking). 

Further details about IELTS can be found on the IELTS website

The OET is an international English language test designed specifically for the healthcare sector and in the UK is an option for doctors, nurses and midwives.

It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. Nurses taking the OET need to achieve a minimum of a level B. 

through evidence that their pre-registration nursing programme was taught and examined in English and that at least 50 per cent of the programme involved clinical interaction using English

Read more about registering with the NMC,including language competency requirements and guidance on the NMC website.

 Overseas-trained nurses holding EC Treaty Rights who have had their qualification recognised in another EU member state and have practised in the EU/EEA for three years, will continue to be processed through the EU route.

Nurses trained in the EEA

Nurses who trained in the EEA must also meet the standards of the NMC before they can be considered for registration. The NMC will compare the training in your country with that required in the UK.

Following the recognition of qualification, and before entry to the register, all applicants are required to supply evidence that they have the necessary knowledge of English. Communication is defined as speaking, reading, listening and writing. 

Nurses who trained in the EEA who are not EEA nationals may be required to undertake one or both parts of the application process abov

To find out more about opportunities for Nurses, contact us to on 00 44 203 489 6070

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