The nursing vacancies in the UK are increasing to a record high. This opens great opportunities for overseas nurses looking to make a career by relocating to the United Kingdom. Here, it is important to know that recruitment processes followed by the nursing agencies are different for nurses trained within the EU region and those trained in other countries.
Most importantly, you need to obtain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). But, before you approach a nursing agency in London for recruitment, understand the benefits and process it entails.
Why Should You Consider Working as a Nurse in the UK?
With a highly progressive healthcare system, the UK offers many opportunities for agency nurses. When you work for NHS, you become a part of a national workforce that provides the best medical care to the patients and gives you a satisfying career.
Excellent pay rates and relocation packages offering a generous amount of annual leaves are lucrative reasons to become a nurse in the country. Nursing agencies affiliated to the NMC also provide training and development to the candidates looking to work in a safe environment.
How to Become an Overseas Agency Nurse in the UK?
There is a long process to become a nurse in the country. The requirements differ for nurses trained outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Here is a step by step process to help you:
Register with the NMC
Whether you are trained in or outside the EEA, registration with the NMC is a primary requirement to work as an agency nurse in the UK. Every overseas nurse has to obtain a UK work permit and NMC registration to start building a successful career.
The process of registration has different categories for nurses, midwives, and community public health nurses. The nurses are further classified under four sectors, viz. mental health nursing, adult nurses, children’s nurses, and learning disabilities nursing. If you meet the required standards, you can apply for one or more of these categories.
Adapt the Skills
To be able to practice as an agency nurse in the UK, especially for nurses trained outside the EEA, you need to adapt your skills according to NMC guidelines. Before arrival in the country, candidates have to enrol in a course in nursing midwifery practices applicable to the UK.
On completion of this course, you will get your NMC registration. If you have received training outside the gambit of EEA, you need to pass a competency test called CBT and a practical exam called OSCE or an objective structured clinical examination.
Pass the English Language Test
Overseas nurses looking for a career opportunity in the UK need to pass an English language test to prove proficiency in this language. They can either clear OET or IELTS for this purpose. The test usually covers reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The candidates with a minimum score of 7.0 are qualified to obtain NMC registration.
Find a Job
Since the UK has a huge gap in nursing staff, you can find relevant jobs through a nursing agency in London. The agency will also guide you with the procedure for job application, interview, and joining the post. The process starts with the preparation of a detailed CV that covers your qualifications, experience, and scope of practice.
The covering letter should clearly specify if the employer has to obtain a work permit for you. The process of the interview can be quite different since the interviewer will look for your capabilities to work in a foreign country using a foreign language. Once you clear the interview, you will get an informal job offer and time to make a definite commitment to start your job.
Apply for a Visa
The UK government has relaxed the visa rules for overseas nurses. Whether you are trained outside the EU or within the EEA, you can apply for a general tier-II visa to work in the country. The eligibility includes a certificate of sponsorship, travel history for the past five years, proof of English language skills, criminal record certificate, and evidence of your personal savings in a bank account.
The process of visa can take up to 3 months before the date of your joining the nursing role. Nursing agencies working within NMC frameworks can help you through this process to expedite it.
Understand the Employment Contract
After you complete the process of registration, find a nursing role in the UK, and reach the country, it’s time to start your career. Here, you should understand the employment contract before getting into a commitment. Understand this; never sign a contract that you don’t understand.
Check the clauses like pre-employment agreement, job description, induction, probationary period, premature termination, salary, hours of work, annual leave, length of the contract, and change of employment.
If you are interested in finding a lasting and rewarding career in agency nursing, the UK offers wonderful opportunities you can explore. Register with a trustworthy nursing agency to get started.