Top questions asked by International Nurses coming to the UK

International Medical Healthcare Recruitment 1

How do I register as a nurse in the UK?

To become a nurse in the UK, you will need to register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council). This applies to all nurses, including General Nurses, Mental Health Nurses and Midwives. 

If you're thinking of finding nurse jobs in the UK, you can enquire with IM-HR by uploading your CV on our website or contacting our Head Office by phone on +442081233880 or +4477539416666 (WhatsApp + Viber)

To provide you with an initial assessment, IM-HR will need your full, up-to-date CV.

Do I have to pay a fee to IM-HR?

No, our services are free of charge to you 

What is the recruitment process like?

Any international nurses wishing to start a career in the UK will go through the following:

  • Take the IELTS UKVI Academic and achieve a pass level of 7 (NMC now accept 6.5 in writing) OR take the OET and pass with grade B
  • Complete a Skype interview with an NHS Trust hospital
  • Receive an offer letter from the hospital following a successful interview
  • Start your registration with the NMC and arrange to take the CBT (Computer Based Test)
  • Send the required documents to the NMC and receive a decision letter
  • Receive your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and apply for your tier 2 visa
  • Have a flight booked for travel to the UK
  • Arrive in the UK and begin working in the NHS as a Band 3 or4 nurse
  • Take the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)

What is a Band and why are there different numbers?

The NHS uses pay scales called 'Bands'. Each Band represents a level of experience and the salary for every Band will differ. Find out more about Bands here.

Every year, the NHS pay scales are reviewed. The scales are uniform for every NHS organisation throughout the UK. 

When you first come to the UK, you are likely to start as a Band 4 nurse with a salary of between £21,089 and £23,761 per year, depending on your experience. Your role will be based on full-time hours of 37.5 hours per week.

After successfully registering with the NMC and receiving your NMC pin, your Band will increase to Band 5, with a salary of between £24,214 and £30,112 per year.

Can I register in the UK and apply for a job with IM-HR?

To be eligible for registration as an overseas nurse in the UK, you'll need a three-year Nursing degree, plus ideally one year's experience working as a nurse. You also need to pass the IELTS or OET English language exams to apply for NMC registration as an overseas nurse. Following the English language tests, you will need to take and pass part 1 of the Computer Based Test (CBT).

Find out more about registering as an overseas nurse in the UK on the NMC website.

What is the Computer Based Test (CBT)?

You can take the CBT at any time after you have your IELTS or OET, most nurses choose to do it immediately after this stage or after they receive a job offer from a NHS Trust. The test is made up of multiple-choice questions and is based on theoretical practice-based knowledge. You can take this test in at a Pearson Vue Centre in your own home country.

What is the OSCE test?

OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination and acts as the second part of your assessment for registration as an overseas nurse. It's a practical test, which involves acting out scenarios that nurses are likely to experience during care. You'll book the OSCE when you arrive in the UK and take the test at either the University of Northampton, Oxford Brookes University or University of Ulster. To arrange your OSCE, you'll need to contact either of these universities however this is usually done by your new employer who typically shall support you through the entire process including making any travel arrangements.

Your employer will want to guide and support you in registering with the NMC and will, therefore, provide a training period of a few weeks before you sit the OSCE. The NHS Trust will pay for you to sit the test 2-3 times, depending on which Trust you are joining. 

Find out more about the OSCE here.

How will IM-HR help me?

  • We'll advise you on multiple nursing vacancies in the UK. The vacancies will be based on your personal application and discussed in detail with you to help you choose the best one to apply for.
  • We will assist you in preparing for your Skype interview with the Trust hospital.
  • If successful in your interview, we'll liaise with you and the Trust hospital from start to finish, ensuring you're updated on any developments.
  • Where appropriate, we will provide advice and guidance on your application for NMC registration.
  • We can help you find the right information and guidance on visa application.
  • Our experienced team will pick you up from the airport and travel with you to your hospital accommodation. We'll also liaise with the hospital to organise a 'meet and greet' and orientation, which will be given to you on arrival.

Do I need a visa to work in the UK?

Unless you are an EU National, you will need a visa or work permit to work in the UK. When applying for an NHS nursing job, the Trust can offer sponsorship to obtain a Tier 2 visa. After passing the CBT, you'll be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), which you'll need for applying for your visa. Depending on which Trust you are joining, they may cover the cost of the visa for you in full or in part.

Can I bring my family to the UK with me?

Yes, but their accommodation and visas will depend on which Trust you are joining. Some Trusts will provide accommodation for your family but will not cover visa costs for them. However, other Trusts will not provide accommodation or visas for family members at all. You should speak with your dedicated IM-HR Project Manager to find out what package the Trust offers.

We strongly recommend not bringing your family over to the UK until you have successfully passed the OSCE.

Here is some information on family visas in the UK.

How long do I have to commit to my job in the UK?

Overseas Nurses are required to commit to their position within the NHS Trust for at least three years, which is also the visa duration.

Will I be given accommodation in the UK?

You will be provided with 1-3 months' free accommodation with the Trust, which would only be for Nurses and not their families. In some cases, a Trust may offer to provide accommodation for families, but this will depend on the individual Trust. Ask your Project Manager for more details.

The full 2-3 months' accommodation is typically credited into your bank account by the hospital, and you will be responsible for financing your accommodation with this money. Following your first 2-3 months'  free accommodation, you may choose to stay and start paying a monthly rent. Should you wish to move to somewhere new, you will need to find your own accommodation.

Will my children get free schooling?

The hospital will provide you with information about schools for your children. You can read more about schooling in the UK with the following links:

Who pays for my flight to the UK?

Typically, the Trust will pay for/pay towards your initial flight to the UK. However, Trusts will differ in their benefits packages, so speak to your Project Manager about what is on offer to you.

Will my family get free flights to the UK?

No; benefits packages, including free flights are only offered to the employed Nurses and not their families.

Will I receive free medical care?

No; benefits packages, including free flights are only offered to the employed Nurses

As a UK resident, you will be entitled to free medical care from the NHS, including access to a GP (doctor), emergency and non-emergency hospital treatment, and other services (e.g. visiting a clinic). 

You may need to pay for some services, like vaccinations, dental and optical treatment, and prescription medicines. 

Find out more here.

and not their families.

What expenses will the hospital cover?

Different hospitals will offer varying benefits packages; however, many hospitals will cover the following expenses:

  • IELTS or OET test
  • NMC application
  • Computer-Based Test (CBT)
  • 2 OSCE exams
  • Initial flight ticket
  • Visa application and health surcharge

How much tax will I pay in the UK?

Income tax and National Insurance will be automatically taken from your monthly salary, so the amount of money you take home will be lower.

To work out how much tax will be taken from your salary, you can use an online tax calculator

As soon as you arrive in the UK, you must apply for a National Insurance number. This can only be done whilst living in the UK, and we'll be happy to help you. Find out more.

Will I get holidays?

As a full-time employee, you will be entitled to 27 days' paid annual leave, plus 8 public Bank Holidays

Can I bring my pet to the UK with me?

Find information on bringing pets to the UK here.

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