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HOW CAN US NURSES SECURE WORK IN THE UNITED KINGDOM?

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The British National Health Service (NHS) is one of the best healthcare systems in the world and an integral part of what makes Britain great. If you’re an American trained nurse hoping to work in the UK then it’s almost certain it will be with the NHS as it is the country’s main healthcare provider that is free for all citizens.

The British National Health Service (NHS) is one of the best healthcare systems in the world and an integral part of what makes Britain great. If you’re an American trained nurse hoping to work in the UK then it’s almost certain it will be with the NHS as it is the country’s main healthcare provider that is free for all citizens.

Nurses in USA
Nurses in USA

The NHS employs thousands of people from all over the world and is open to professionals from every field. It is a lot easier to get a job if you come from another EU country but it is still possible from outside the EU, just it will take a little bit more work.

Right to Work

Depending on how long you intend to work in the UK for (at least one year is advised) you will need to get the right documents that allow you to live and work in the country. This can be done on a visa if you have family already living in the country or you may need to apply for UK citizenship.

There are various criteria you need to fulfil in order to attain British citizenship which you can read about here. The whole process can take six months or longer so it’s a good idea to start applying as soon as you’re sure you want to work as a nurse in the UK. The UK doesn’t let just anyone in from outside the EU (not even for holidaying) so you will need to find out if you are allowed to travel there before moving on to the next stage.

Assessment

Now that you know you will be able to live in the UK you have to take (and pass) the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This will be a breeze, especially if English is your first tongue.

Next you need to apply for an assessment by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This is the only way nurses trained outside of the UK and EEA can register to work in their chosen profession inside the country.

The assessment contains two parts. The first part is a multiple choice exam which is done on a computer and can be accessed in any country across the world so you can do it at home. The second part is a practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which is undertaken in the UK. As a working nurse these shouldn’t pose too many problems and if you pass them both you will be eligible to work as a nurse in the UK.

Finding Work

The final stage is finding a job, but with the number of cuts constantly being made to the NHS this may not be as easy as you’d hoped. However, there are a number of NHS specialist nursing recruiters who offer a variety of jobs; a reputable nursing agency will be looking to hire nurses for a range of positions. Look online and a few appealing roles are sure to crop up.

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