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The Process of Relocating to the UK for an International Nurse

  • October 23, 2018

The NHS’ nursing vacancies are at a record high with more than 34,000 vacant roles. If you are an overseas nurse and you would like to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS – this blog post is going to provide you with a step by step guide on the process.

Please note, the process differs for those trained within the EU and those trained outside. To work within the NHS as a nurse you will need to obtain your Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registration.

To obtain your NMC Registration from outside of the EU, you will need to evidence your English skills via IELTS or OET and then evidence your knowledge and skills via the CBT and OSCE exams. However, the only OSCE exam centres are located in the UK. Therefore, in March 2015, the Tier 2 visa process was amended to allow nurses to enter the UK prior to sitting OSCE. International nurses can now work within the NHS as a pre-registered nurse/health care assistant for three-months before sitting the OSCE exam.

To obtain your NMC Registration from within the EU, you will need to get your qualifications assessed by the NMC and then evidence your English language skills via IELTS or OET. You will then be eligible for NMC Registration and you can begin your job search.


The Process for Nurses who trained outside of the EEA

Step 1: Obtain the Qualifications for NMC Registration

To be eligible for NMC Registration you must evidence:

  1. Your English Language Skills

Via:

IELTS – A minimum of a 7 in each component and a score of 7 overall

or

OET – A minimum of a Grade B in each component

or

A recent nursing or midwifery qualification which was taught and examined in English

or

Previous registration and practice of at least one year in a country where English is the native language and an English language assessment was required for registration

For further information on evidencing your English language skills please click here.

Please note, that if you do not achieve the required score in the first sitting of your IELTS/OET exam it is possible to pass across two sittings.

On the condition that:

  • You sit both tests within six months of each other
  • You are tested on all four skills at the same time
  • If you take IELTS: all scores in both sittings are above 6.5 and you achieve 7.0 or higher in all four fields when both sittings results are viewed together
  • If you take OET: all grades in both sittings are above grade C+ and you achieve grade B or higher in all four fields when both sittings results are viewed together
  1. Your knowledge

Via:

Computer Based Training (CBT)

To be eligible for NMC Registration you must also evidence your knowledge and skills. This CBT test will provide you with 140 multiple-choice questions based on nursing competencies.

The CBT is available in most countries around the world. Please note, that all questions are scored as correct or incorrect and there is no partial basis. A certain proportion of questions will be critical and will relate to patient and public safety. The critical questions must be passed.

Step 2: Eligibility to apply for Pre-Registration Nurse/NHS Healthcare Assistant Posts

After you have evidenced your English language skills and your nursing competencies via the CBT test – you will be eligible to apply for pre-registration nurse/NHS healthcare assistant posts. Please note we can help you with this stage so please email your CV to nursing@bdiresourcing.com.

Step 3: Tier 2 Visa Application

After you have been offered your first NHS post and your hospital have been granted your CoS by the UK Government – you will be ready to apply for your Tier 2 visa.

For advice on how to apply for your visa, please follow this link.

Step 4: Arrive in the UK and sit your OSCE Exam

After you arrive in the UK, you will have up to three-months from the employment date stated on your CoS to sit the OSCE exam.

If you fail your OSCE exam on your first attempt, you will need to re-sit the exam within a maximum of eight months from the start of your visa.

Please note, you will be able to sit the OSCE exam up to three times as part of one application.

OSCE Exam locations:

University of Northampton

Oxford Brookes University

Ulster University, Northern Ireland

Step 5: Identification Check

After you pass your OSCE exam, you will then be invited to attend a face-to-face identification check on the same day as the exam.

At the ID interview, you must provide the original versions of the documents you previously sent copies of.

You will then be registered with the NMC and be issued with an NMC pin allowing you to work as a nurse within the NHS.


The Process for Nurses who trained in the EU or EEA

Step 1: Assessment and recognition of qualifications

The NMC will assess that your overseas nursing qualifications meet the requirements for automatic recognition.

Information on the NMC’s requirements can be found here.

Please note, if your training or experience does not meet the NMC’s requirements for practicing in the UK, you may have the option of undertaking an adaption programme or an aptitude test to make up any shortfall. Further information can be found here.

Step 2: English Language Requirements

Via:

IELTS – A minimum of a 7 in each component and a score of 7 overall

or

OET – A minimum of a Grade B in each component

or

A recent nursing or midwifery qualification which was taught and examined in English

or

Previous registration and practice of at least one year in a country where English is the native language and an English language assessment was required for registration

For further information on evidencing your English language skills please click here.

Please note, that if you do not achieve the required score in the first sitting of your IELTS/OET exam it is possible to pass across to sittings.

On the condition that:

  • You sit both tests within six months of each other
  • You are tested on all four skills at the same time
  • If you take IELTS: all scores in both sittings are above 6.5 and you achieve 7.0 or higher in all four fields when both sittings results are viewed together
  • If you take OET: all grades in both sittings are above grade C+ and you achieve grade B or higher in all four fields when both sittings results are viewed together

Step 3: Application for entry to the NMC Register

After the NMC are satisfied with both your qualifications and your English language capabilities, you will be invited for a face-to-face identification check.

At the ID interview, you must provide the original versions of the documents you previously sent copies of.

You will then be registered with the NMC and be issued with an NMC pin allowing you to work as a nurse within the NHS.

Step 4: Find your first NHS post

Once you have registered, will then able to start applying for NHS posts.

For support in finding your first NHS job, please email nursing@bdiresourcing.com and we will be happy to help you.


References

The Independent. (2018). NHS nursing vacancies at record high with 34,260 roles being advertised. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-nurse-jobs-vacancies-record-high-adverts-listings-a8174111.html [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].

Nmc.org.uk. (2018). Trained in the EU or EEA. [online] Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/joining-the-register/trained-in-the-eu-or-eea/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].

Nmc.org.uk. (2018). Trained outside the EU/EEA. [online] Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/joining-the-register/trained-outside-the-eueea/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].

 
 

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