Top questions asked by International Nurses coming to the UK

Rachel Lamb . 30/08/2018 · 10 Minute read

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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 Your World International Recruitment by uploading your CV on our website or contacting our Head Office by phone on 020 7220 0811.

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


Do I have to pay a fee to Your World International Recruitment?

No, our services are free of charge to you as we are paid by the hospitals that work with us. However, you may be charged for extra services and requirements, such as buying new uniforms, processing documents or booking a training course etc.


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 OR take the OET and pass with grade B
  • Complete a Skype interview with an NHS 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 4 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 will be a Band 4 nurse with a salary of between £19,409 and £22,683 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 £22,128 and £28,746 per year.


Can I register in the UK and apply for a job with Your World Recruitment?

To be eligible for registration as an EU or overseas nurse in the UK, you'll need a three-year Nursing degree, plus 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 once you're deemed eligible. The test is made up of multiple-choice questions and is based on theoretical practice-based knowledge. You can take this test in various centres throughout the world.


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 or Oxford Brookes University. To arrange your OSCE, you'll need to contact either of these universities.

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 Your World International Recruitment 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(s) to apply for.
  • We will assist you in preparing for your Skype interview with the hospital.
  • If successful in your interview, we'll liaise with you and the 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 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 recruitment consultant 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 2-3 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 recruitment consultant 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' in 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 recruitment consultant 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?

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.


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 a pension?

All NHS employees are automatically enrolled in the NHS Pension Scheme. 7-9% of your salary will be contributed towards your pension every month and the Trust will make a monthly contribution equal to 14%.

You can opt out of the pension scheme if you don't wish to be part of it.


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.


Do you have a question for our team?

For more information about a nursing career in the UK, email our specialist international team, who will be happy to assist you.

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