Overseas Nurses and Jobs in the British National Health Service

By Brit Peacock

Free International Moving Quotes

Summary: With scores of NHS-funded hospitals recruiting overseas nurses, Brit Peacock offers advice for nurses interested in moving to the UK.

Overseas Nurses - Jobs in the British National Health Service

The number of foreign nurses working in Britain has doubled in the last three years, with scores of NHS-funded hospitals recruiting workers from abroad. Figures suggest that one third of NHS trusts have looked overseas for nurses, with current plans to renew their overseas recruitment drive. Of the 105 NHS trusts that responded to a Freedom of Information request from the Nursing Times magazine, 40 declared that they had actively recruited nursing staff from abroad, with a further 41 planning to do so.

Many of these trusts targeted European countries, but several others looked thousands of miles overseas, turning to the Philippines, Australia, the USA and India to provide them with efficient, highly-qualified nursing staff to fill the current shortage. Hospitals targeted 29 countries from across the globe, with the greatest number of foreign nurses hailing from Portugal, Spain, Ireland and the Philippines. Recruitment drives also targeted Greece, Poland, Canada and Switzerland.

A Department of Health spokesperson claimed that this was not a novel phenomenon: "Recruiting from abroad is nothing new. Overseas nurses make a very valuable contribution to NHS patient care."

If you think that nursing in the UK could be the right move for you, read on to find out what you need to do.

Nurses Trained Outside the UK and EEA

Those wanting to work as a nurse in the UK must begin by registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Only those who meet the council’s standards will be entered onto the register. Your eligibility will be assessed based on the training in your country compared to that required in the UK.

For nurses trained outside of the UK and EEA, the only way to become eligible for registration is by completing the Overseas Nurses Programme (ONP). Applicants are expected to meet the council’s minimum standards and to complete all or part of the ONP.

The ONP takes the form of a compulsory 20-day period of protected learning and, where appropriate, a period of supervised practice. Before being granted entry to the UK to complete the ONP, you must have a sponsor (your employer). Completion of the ONP will lead to employment as a registered nurse.

EEA nationals who have trained outside the EEA will not be eligible for automatic recognition of their qualification.

There is a further requirement for all nurses wishing to join the register to have passed an International English Language Testing System test. The academic version must be completed and entrees must score a minimum of 7.0 in listening and reading section 1, 7.0 in the writing and speaking section, and an overall average score of 7 out of 9.

Nurses Trained in the EEA

Nurses who undertook their training in the EEA will also be required to meet the standards of the NMC to be eligible for registration. The NMC will compare your training with that required in the UK, and where there are significant differences between the two, the NMC will detail these. Applicants will be offered the opportunity to make up for the disparity through either a period of adaptation or an aptitude test to demonstrate professional knowledge.

Unlike non-EEA qualified nurses, evidence of a nurse’s ability to communicate in English is not required, but some NHS organisations will require applicants to take and pass a written test to demonstrate their proficiency in English.

Nurses who trained in the EEA but are not EEA nationals may be required to undertake part or all of the ONP.

Finding NHS Job Vacancies

All jobs in the NHS will be advertised on the NHS Jobs website. Guidance is available from the Royal College of Nursing to steer applicants through the process of applying. This includes advice on good recruitment and employment practices, information on the regulation of nurses in the UK, support available for nurses and details of useful contacts and resources. Visit the website to see what’s on offer today.

About the Author

Brit Peacock blogs on health issues for NHS recruitment agency Nursing Personnel.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Join our UK Expat Forum

Visit our UK Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in , UK.

More about UK

Healthcare-in-the-UK

Healthcare in the UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system.

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reason...

Moving-to-London

Moving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's t...

10-Tips-for-Living-in-the-United-Kingdom

10 Tips for Living in the United Kingdom

Expats in the United Kingdom live in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Its four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - offer expats a broad range of expatriate experiences.

Expats in the United Kingdom live in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Its four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - offer expats a broad range of expatri...

5-Tips-for-Living-in-St-Albans,-England

5 Tips for Living in St Albans, England

Expats living in St Albans live in a suburb with a very easy commute to London. Almost all of the areas within St Albans are desirable. In addition to a lot of options for enjoying the great outdoors, there's plenty of shopping, dining, and pubs.

Expats living in St Albans live in a suburb with a very easy commute to London. Almost all of the areas within St Albans are desirable. In addition to a lot of options for enjoying the great outdoor...

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Hassocks,-England

5 Tips for Living in Hassocks, England

Expats living in Hassocks live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. It's proximity to the South Downs and Brighton make Hassocks a small town worth considering a London suburb.

Expats living in Hassocks live in a suburb with a relatively easy commute to London. It's proximity to the South Downs and Brighton make Hassocks a small town worth considering a London suburb....

Cost-of-Living-in-London

Cost of Living in London

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whet...

Living-in-London

Living in London

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London.

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London....

Best-Neighborhoods-in-London

Best Neighborhoods in London

Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly.

Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly. ...

Moving-to-London

Moving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's t...

International-Schools-in-London

International Schools in London

Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools.

Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools. ...

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

First Published: Aug 04, 2014

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-ExeterAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Exeter, UK

A British "expat" in Exeter describes the culture shock experienced while settling into the UK after living in Canada and the U.S. for most of her life.

A British "expat" in Exeter describes the culture shock experienced while settling into the UK after living in Canada and the U.S. for most of her life....

Living-in-LondonAn Expat Discusses Living in London, UK

An American expat in London offers some advice on what it takes to get settled in the UK's capital city.

An American expat in London offers some advice on what it takes to get settled in the UK's capital city....

Cost-of-Living-in-LondonCost of Living in London

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whet...

Living-in-LondonLiving in London

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London.

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London....

10-Expats-Talk-about-What-Its-Like-Moving-to-the-UK10 Expats Talk about What It's Like Moving to the UK

Expats talk about what it was like moving to the UK. Topics covered include meeting people, NHS, culture shock and more.
Expats talk about what it was like moving to the UK. Topics covered include meeting people, NHS, culture shock and more....

Copyright 1997-2021 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal