For most international nurses, the main appeal of working in the UK is the National Health Service. Not only is the NHS abundant in nursing jobs for both native and overseas nurses, but the benefits packages that come with NHS jobs are extremely attractive. There is an extreme shortage of qualified Nurses in the UK and the actual requirement is around 40000 presently.
Aside from a fantastic healthcare system, the UK is also extremely multicultural, catering to people from all backgrounds and cultures worldwide. Indian nurses will often find all the comforts of home in their local communities, which makes transitioning from India to the United Kingdom an easy and exciting process.
Advantages for nurses and their families:
Being an international nurse in the United Kingdom is not only about the work itself.
Every work migrant in the UK gets the following:
- A work contract, protected by the UK Labour Law
- Steady salary and annual leave (see the details of employment below)
- A Tier 2 migrant visa (work visa) for the duration of the contract, usually 3 years
- A possibility to extend the contract for another 3 years, without leaving the country
- A possibility to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residency) after working 5 years in the UK
- Nurses can bring their spouse and children
- Spouses are allowed to work full time
- Children of school age (5-18) get free schooling
- After getting the Indefinite Leave to remain, it is possible to apply for the UK citizenship for the whole family
- Permanent Residents of UK have access to free healthcare (NHS) same as UK citizens
What are the requirements for Indian nurses to work in the UK?
We need registered nurses with Academic IELTS (7.0 across all bands expect for writing where 6.5 is acceptable) or OET (B across all bands except for writing, where C+ is acceptable). The nurses should have worked as a nurse at some point in the last 2 years.
These are the current English language requirements by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council), they were last updated on 21 January 2020. You can find the official information here: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/
Hurdles and obstacles for Nurses from India:
The main obstacle here is the English language. There are many nurses available in various databases etc., many of them are interested to work abroad. All a Nurses needs is to spend some time preparing for the exam and an English teacher with some experience of teaching IELTS (or OET). We can help you with the materials, as we have some extensive experience with a similar project in the Philippines, where we have IELTS review centres in 5 locations.
Another hurdle is how long it takes to register a nurse with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council). The whole process from when you get your IELTS/OET, until he/she flies to the UK, may take anywhere between 4 to 8 months.
Details of Employment:
Salary – All nurses in UK get the same salaries, according to bands. The starting salary is on Band 5, which is currently 24,907 British Pounds per year rising to 26,970 British Pounds in year 3 before tax. Please note that the salary will be lower before the nurse passes the OSCE (usually around 17,000 pounds first 2-3 months)
Taxes –You can find a UK tax calculator here: www.listentotaxman.com.
Working hours/days – Nurses usually work long shifts, 12 hours per day. Normally 3 or 4 shifts per week. Please note that the aforementioned salary is based on 37.5 hours per week. Nurses usually work more than 37.5 hours per week, so they get overtime which is generally 20 hours per week.
Accommodation – Provided for the first 3 months. There after Nurses will have to arrange their own accommodation.
Food Allowance – Some hospitals provide meals on duty, some don’t. Nurses should not expect free meals.
Transportation – Some nurses will live at the hospital site, some will need to travel. This varies from place to place, and nurses should not expect free transportation.
Uniform – Normally provided by the hospitals.
Visas – Visas for nurses will be taken care of by the hospitals.
Flight tickets – One way flight ticket from India to UK will be paid by the hospital. No other flight tickets will be paid.
Annual leave – Same as UK citizens; International nurses will have a contract with 28 days annual leave, of which 8 are bank holidays.
Duration of Contract – Usually 3 years with a possibility to extend.
Termination of contract – Usually the contract states that any of the parties can terminate the contract with 1 month notice.
Age limit – It is illegal to discriminate by age, gender, religion or anything else in the UK. Therefore, there is no age limit here, nurses only have to meet the entry requirements and follow the process.
Location – Can be anywhere in England. We currently do not offer any jobs in London, nor in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.
IELTS/OET –> CBT –> NMC Registration Processing –> Interview –> Offer Letter –> Visa and arrival to UK –> OSCE –> NMC Registration Complete
- IELTS/OET – Must be Academic and not General Training, and the entry requirements must be met. Once a nurse has passed IELTS/OET, we can start processing.
- CBT – Registration involves a Computer Based Test (CBT), which can be taken in multiple test centres around the world. The test is taken on a computer and is made up of 120 multiple-choice questions. You’ll have four hours to complete the test. You can find the list of the centres in your location here: http://www.pearsonvue.com We have online system for nurses to prepare for this test.
- NMC Registration Process – Submit the documents for NMC registeration after you have passed the CBT.
- Interview – Skype interveiw’s will be arranged.
- Offer Letter – Once you have cleared the interview, the hospital will process the paperwork and send the offer letter.
- Visa application – In order to apply for your Visa, you must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). Your NHS Trust acts as your sponsor and will apply for this on your behalf. Your COS will last 3 years, after which you can be re-sponsored. Following 5 years in the UK, you can apply for permanent residency. On receiving the COS, the nurse should apply for a Tier 2 visa at the nearest British Consulate or Visa Application Centre. The processing time is usually up to 3 weeks.
- Visa and arrival to UK – Once the visa is issued, your hospital will issue the arrival ticket to us. Our office in London will arrange airport pickup and arrival to the hospital.
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – This is the last exam that every nurse has to take. It is the second part of the requirements for NMC registration. It is available in UK only, so it can be taken only after the nurse arrives to the UK and starts working under supervision. Hospitals take the responsibility of preparing nurses for these exams. The examination creates some of the healthcare scenarios that nurses and midwives in the NHS are likely to encounter when delivering care to patients. The OSCE includes six stations, four of which assess a nurse’s or midwife’s assessment, knowledge and understanding, and their ability to plan, implement and evaluate care. The last two stations test clinical skills. Training time for the OSCE will vary depending on the individual NHS Trust. You will have two paid attempts to pass the examination and may attempt the exam for a third time at your own expense if you do not pass the first two attempts. Should you fail three attempts, you will be required to return to your home country. For this reason, we strongly recommends waiting until you have passed the OSCE before moving any family members over to the UK.
- NMC Registration Completion- Once you pass the OSCE, you’ll be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council and receive your NMC Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your career as a registered nurse (RGN) in the United Kingdom will officially begin!