You are a nurse and want to move to the UK. You have made the right choice. It needs skilled nurses and welcomes them after the Covid-19 pandemic. This article brings everything you must know to immigrate to the UK as a nurse. 

What are the requirements to become a nurse in the UK?

The list of requirements you need to become a nurse in the UK is up to your nationality. But here are the general eligibility principles you need to become a nurse in the UK: 

Have a nursing degree 

You must complete your education and receive a certificate or diploma in nursing. It is often a BA in nursing from an approved university or education center in your home country. 

You would better work on your studies and get a high GPA as you must submit your certificate and transcripts to the UK officials. 

Work experience 

It is mandatory to have at least one year of work experience as a nurse. Remember that UK officials will check your experience with your employer. 

You would better gather proof of your work experience and submit them in your application. 

Language proficiency 

It is mandatory to pass the English proficiency test and submit the test result. IELTS and OET are the approved language tests. 

You are exempt from it only if you are from an English-speaking country. Also, if you have passed your course in English, you might be exempt from it. 

Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

The process of registration with the NMC is explained in the below section. You must complete all of the steps and get the verifications from the NMC and UK officials. 

There are procedures before moving to the UK and exams after entering the UK. You must pass all of them. 

 Video description

NMC website to register as a nurse 

UK visa and immigration website to apply for a skilled worker visa 

Nurses.co.uk website to find a job offer as a nurse in the UK.


How can you move to the UK as a nurse?

You must follow the below procedure to immigrate to the UK as a nurse: 

Be a qualified nurse in your home country.

 The first step is completing your nursing education or a related major in your home country. It is mandatory to receive all of the certificates and diplomas in your home country. 

If you have to pass a test or exam to become a nurse, you must pass it as well. Then you must begin working as a nurse in a hospital or clinic. Bear in mind that you must provide evidence of your work experience. 

Getting the Registered Nurse License and completing the process of becoming a nurse is also mandatory. 

Language proficiency

It is a must to prove your language proficiency through a certificate.  There are two tests that you can pass to prove your language fluency: 

  • Academic IELTS with 6.5 in writing and 7 in remaining areas
  • OET with C+ in writing and B in remaining areas

Remember that there is a deadline validity for the IELTS expiry date, and it is two years. The same is true with the OET, and it is two years.

If you are from an English-  country, you don’t need a language proficiency test: 

  • Canada 
  • The US 
  • Australia 
  • ect 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) self-assessment test 

This is an online assessment with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It proves you are eligible to apply for NMC registration. 

NMC will ask to confirm the following requirements:

  • Being health, 
  • Good character 
  • English language requirements.

NMC Application Assessment

At this step, you must submit some supporting documents to the NMC, so they evaluate you to determine your eligibility. 

When they receive your application, members of the International Registrations Team will evaluate it. They will inform you of the list of supporting documents. 

Pass Computer Based Test (CBT)

Every foreign nurse who wants to work in the UK must register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. The registration process consists of a Computer Based Test called CBT. 

You can take it in centers around the world. There are 120 multiple-choice questions with the test that you must complete to get the required score. 

Online Job Interview

You must pass an online interview with the Global Nurse Force at this stage. It is through one of the platforms for an online meeting: 

  • Zoom
  • Skype 
  • Google meet 
  • Cisco Webex
  • Jitsi Meet
  • Toasty
  • Lifesize

The first three options are more likely as they are more common. 

Find a sponsor for the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

You need a job offer to get a UK work visa. The British employer must get a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) and provide you with the code. You will use the code in your visa application process. 

In this case, the NHS Trust works like a sponsor and will apply for the COS on your behalf. 

The COS is valid for three years, but you can extend it as long as you are eligible. 

When you have lived in the UK for five years, you may apply for PR or Permanent residency. 

UK work visa application.

After you get the COS certificate, you can apply for a UK skilled work visa. You must apply online through the UK visa and immigration website. 

Remember an essential point. 

You can also apply for a Health and Care Worker visa if you’re eligible. It permits medical professionals to enter the UK if they have a job with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care.

In either case, you must gather the visa supporting documents, complete the online application form and schedule a meeting with the UK embassy or visa center to submit your documents and biometrics. 

nurses.co.UK is the source where you can find a nursing job offer in the UK.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

This is the exam you must pass in the UK to assess your clinical knowledge. NMC requires all nurses to pass it and ensure he/she is knowledgeable enough. 

 OSCE exam is practical, and you must work in a simulation environment and deal with a patient. 

After you pass the OSCE exam, you have completed all the steps and will be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Then you will receive your NMC Personal Identification Number (PIN). Now you can begin your work in the UK without going through any procedures and work as long as you have a contract with the employer. 

There are five centers you can take for the OSCe exam. All of them are located in the UK, and here is their list: 

  • University of Northampton
  • Oxford Brookes University (Oxford campus and Swindon campus)
  • Ulster University (Northern Ireland)
  • Leeds Teaching University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Northumbria University.

You must take your exam with one of them. 

Moving to the UK as a nurse from the EU countries

This section explains how you can move to the UK as a nurse from an EU country: 

Assessment and qualification recognition

In the first step, you must send your qualifications and documents to the NMC, and they assess them to see if they meet the standards or not.  

You can visit their website for more information and the list of supporting documents. if the qualification meets the standards, you can continue the procedure, but if not, you can take an adoption program or an aptitude test. 

English proficiency certificate

  Like the non-EU nurses who want to move to the UK, EU nationals need language proficiency as well. The tests are IELTS and OET, just for non-nationals. 

  • IELTS, at least 7 overall scores and 7 on each skill. 
  • OET, at least a B grade is needed. 

NMC registration 

At this stage, you will be invited to an interview. It is to verify your ID and security check. When you’re done with it, you must send the original copies of your documents to the NMC. 

When the process is done, you will get registered with the NMC and can work as a nurse in the UK. 

Nurses salary in the UK 

Your salary as a nurse in the UK depends on various factors. The range of positions, locations, responsibilities, and work experience is different. All of them and many more factors determine your salary in the UK. 

UK nurses are categorized by bands in the pay scale. There are 12 bands: 

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8a
  9. 8b
  10. 8c 
  11. 8d
  12. 9

The salary in each case is different, but it starts from £20,270 and goes up to £109,475 per year. 

There are also nurses in the private sector who work for: 

  • Healthcare organizations, 
  • Schools 
  • Charities
  • Families 
  • Etc 

The salary or wage with the private section is different, and you can not mention an amount for it. If you are looking for a position like this, you would better search for it and negotiate with the employer to find out how much they will pay you. 

Working in the UK as a nurse benefits

You have entered this page and read this far; you already know that there are so many benefits to immigrating to the UK as a nurse. The country needs nurses, and you want a better life. The UK can give you this dream life, and you can achieve whatever you want. 

These items can help you decide better and find out what life awaits you in the UK; 

Great working conditions

Your working conditions are not that hard, and you will have a balanced life there. You can get 27 days off per year and spend it on your doorstep; Europe. 

You will also have free access to occupational health and counseling support. In case of getting sick, you have six months of full pay and six months of half pay for sick leave. 

The maternity and paternity leave is generous and enough to have your children.  

In terms of occupational improvement and progress, you will have access to training courses and professional development programs. They are often accompanied by full support and funding from the trust you work with. 

Education and healthcare are free in the UK. 

Every UK citizen has access to free healthcare and education to a certain level. You won’t have to pay a lot for emergencies, and there is nothing to worry about for your medical costs. 

Your children will have access to a free high-standard education system and to the best schools. Name the best universities in the world, and the UK universities come to the top of the list; Cambridge and Oxford. 

Europe is in the doorway. 

A short flight and you can enter the 26 European countries in a few hours. Get a taxi to Heathrow Airport, take a nap and wake up in every European country you want to spend your holiday there. The good point is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your air trip and it’s friendly cost and affordable. 

Every type of climate and country you want is accessible, from sunny Spain to the snowy Alps in Sweden. 

A huge job market awaits you. 

So many large companies are located in the UK, and many of the international companies have a branch there. The UK always needs skilled workers and is paving the way to bring them to the country. 

Last year, the UK introduced a job seeker visa that allows international graduates to stay in the country after graduation without getting a job offer and having enough funds to cover their expenses. They can work in any general job and cover their expenses for two years until they find a job related to their expertise and get a skilled worker visa. 

Also, if you have studied in the top 50 universities in the Qsranking, you can get a visa and enter the UK to look for a job. 

Tourist attractions never end in the UK. 

This is one of the top tourist attractions in the world that bring millions of visitors every year. The UK satisfies every type of people in terms of tourist attractions. From museums, art galleries, natural wonders, and shopping places, you will never get bored there. You just need a lifetime to explore London and enjoy its beauty. 

Friendly and nice people to live in 

The UK welcomes immigrants from around the world, and you can find people from every culture. This versatile atmosphere has changed the country, and the British are nice to foreigners. You don’t feel that you’re an outsider. Also, you can find someone from your home country so as not to feel alone.

Infographic How to immigrate to the UK as a nurse

Do you need IELTS to immigrate to the UK as a nurse?

The answer is yes. IELTS is one of the approved language tests for nurses who want to move to the UK. The other test is OET. You must have a B grade with OET, and your IELTS score must be at least 7.  Each skill of your IETLS score must be at least 7, and your writing can not be lower than 6.5. 

Remember that IELTS and OET are valid for two years. Look at the expiry date before you submit them for evaluation. 

Does the UK hire foreign nurses?

The answer is a definite yes. The process of moving to the UK as a nurse is long and time-consuming, but you can get there in the end. The point is that the UK needs skilled nurses, and it has intensified after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Western countries are recruiting more nurses to prepare for the next pandemic if it happens. They were not ready for Covid-19 and a number of patients. 

Can foreign nurses get PR in the UK?

Yes, after you live in the UK for five years under a work visa, you will become eligible to apply for PR or permanent residency. 

You must keep your employment with a British employer and obey all the nation’s laws. 

Is there an age limit for nurses in the UK?

There is an age limit for working in the UK, and it is 18. You must be at least 18 to work in the UK as a nurse. Also, you must have completed your studies and meet eligibility principles. Look at the above section to find them out and know the steps. 

Let’s sum up…

This article explained how you could immigrate to the UK as a nurse. Although the process is long and time-consuming, you can do it if you are eligible. 

The requirements, eligibility principles, and application process are explained in detail. This is your guide to moving to the UK as a nurse.

If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them. 

Frequently asked questions about moving to the UK as a nurse?

Can foreign nurses move to the UK?

Yes, they can immigrate to the UK, and they are needed, but they must be eligible. 

Are foreign nurses needed in the UK?

Yes, they are needed and

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  1. Nabadda Maria says:

    Immigration to UK as a nurse

  2. Ariko Daniel says:

    I would love to work in the UK

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