Working in the UK as a nurse could be an excellent career choice with the added bonus of an opportunity to travel. Hospitals within both the National Health Service (NHS) and private sector often conduct recruitment in other countries in order to attract qualified nurses.
Employment opportunities in the UK
UK recruiters have acknowledged that there is still a significant demand for full-time nurses. Besides hospitals and clinics, nursing and care homes are also looking for nurses to fill their vacancies.
So where do you start?
If you are from overseas and want to work in the UK, then naturally you will need to make an application. The process will take some time and a little bit of paperwork.
The requirements will also differ depending on whether you trained:
- Within the European Economic Area (EEA)
- Outside the EEA
The difference is due to the EU’s employment regulations. If you want to speed up the recruitment process, here is some sound advice.
Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
Registering is a requirement for all those who wish to work as a nurse in the UK as the NMC is the official organization that regulates the nursing profession.
If you are from overseas, you will also need to secure a UK work permit and find an employer who will sponsor you. Once you have registered with the NMC, you will receive a PIN number which will allow you to practice as a nurse in the UK. You can visit the NMC website to find out more information about registering as a nurse. To secure a placement, you should contact the hospitals directly.
Once you have submitted your application, you will either be accepted, rejected, or asked to fulfill further requirements, perhaps by undergoing a supervised practice period.
If you have been trained as a nurse outside the EEA, you may have to take a nursing course so you can adapt your existing knowledge and skills to a UK setting. You can then register with the NMC once you have completed this course. Non-EEA trained nurses will also need to pass a competence test (CBT) and a practical skills examination (OSCE).
The particular type of work permit or visa required will depend on your country of origin. If you are from the EEA region, you can visit the Home Office website for information on how to secure a UK work permit. If you are from outside the EEA and Switzerland, you need to apply for the General Visa – Tier 2.
UK nursing vacancies during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 crisis has meant that some of the usual hiring practices have been modified, especially for nursing home jobs. For instance, candidates can expect to be interviewed by their prospective employers via a video call. In addition, candidates may only be able to visit the employer’s facility when it is necessary or after they have been hired.
Even before the pandemic, there was a high demand for nurses in the care home sector. UK recruiters anticipate that this demand will only increase once the current crisis has abated.
Apply for a nursing position in advance
As mentioned earlier, the UK nursing application process may take some time. It can also be rather complicated. As a result, it is vital that you make your application as early as possible, well before you arrive in the UK.
To expedite the hiring process, make sure you bring all your essential documents, such as:
- Training logs
- Birth certificate
Nurses who are interested in working in the UK can expect a warm welcome from recruiters and employers alike. The demand for qualified and skilled nurses is still very high. Although it may require some effort and time to apply, it will be well worth it in the end. If you want to evaluate your career options, go to the NMC and UK Home Office websites to find out more information.
Guest Post by: