The UK has one of the best healthcare systems out of the world’s wealthiest countries. The quality, efficiency, cost and performance of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) came top compared to Canada, the US, Australia and the Netherlands, making it a great place to work too. With 27 days of holiday, and rewards for out of hours, shift and overtime working, the NHS has lots of benefits, so lots of people from outside of the UK come to work for the NHS.

How Do I Find a Nursing Job in the UK NHS?

The first step to your job in the UK is to register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). It is a legal requirement to be on the register.

If you have been trained outside the EU and the EEA, then you must jump through several hoops to be registered.

The first jump is through the language hoop. If you cannot speak English fluently, then unfortunately you won’t be accepted on to the register. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be taken regardless of whether your first language is English or not.

You must also have at least 10 years of school education before nursing or midwife training.

When you apply, you should have been a practicing nurse or a midwife for at least 12 months after you were first registered, and it must be relevant to the field of practice that you’re applying for. If you have been qualified longer than this, you must have also practiced for 450 hours in the last three years.

Practice can include:

  • Administrative
  • Supervisory
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Managerial roles
  • Direct patient care

Applicants must complete an eligibility assessment, a competence test, an ID check, and an Objective-Structured Clinical Examination.

You will need certain documents to complete your application, so it’s important to have these in advance, because the application process is a long one, so it’s important to be prepared. They include:

  • Registration certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Copies of diplomas
  • References from previous employers
  • Transcript of your training

You will be required to make a payment to the NMC for an evaluation of your application.

The NMC will return to you, usually after 3-6 months, with their decision. You will either be accepted, rejected, or you will have to undergo a supervision period before you’re accepted. The last option is very common, and is usually down to the fact that your training may be slightly different to the UK’s.

The second hoop is to make sure that you meet all the requirements for the UK’s immigration processes. Take a look at the UK government’s website for more information.

Finding a Nursing Job in the UK

The wonders of the internet have made finding a job that little bit easier. From browsing the NHS website directly to joining an agency like Nursing Personnel can make finding work so much easier than it has been in the past. Be careful, though. You shouldn’t have to give an agency money to help you secure a job.