There are several new steps to finding a nursing job in Britain. Brit Peacock takes us through them.
The National Health Service (NHS) is considered one of the best and most effective health service systems in the world. Since its incarnation following World War Two, it has seen some wonderful breakthroughs and advances in care and treatment.
With this comes the prestige and privilege you feel and receive when working for the NHS. They are constantly looking for new, skilled and qualified staff to make a difference to people’s lives.
If you are a fully-qualified nurse looking to work in the UK, there are processes you need to go through. October 2014 saw changes in the application processes for those trained outside of the UK and EEA, which you will need to consider before looking for work within the NHS.
The requirement for working as a nurse in the UK is based on the assessments you get from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Your first step will be to register with this council, which is a legal requirement.
In order to register you must be able to speak and communicate in English and have a minimum score of 7 in each area of the English Language Testing System (IELTS) – even if you speak English as your first language.
You also need to have worked as a fully licenced and registered nurse for a minimum of 12 months and of course have the evidence to support this. Furthermore, if you want to work in a specific area of nursing, your evidence should reflect your expertise in this area.
The application process
When you apply through the NMC, you will initially have to complete an eligibility test to ensure you meet their minimum requirements, that you are who you say you are and have the appropriate character. Once these have been confirmed, you will be expected to pay for and complete a test of competence, consisting of two parts:
- A multiple choice exam you can complete online at test centres in your country. On completing this you will have to provide identification and proof of your registration for everywhere you have worked, also including your valid references.
- The next part of the process is essentially a test of your skills and competence. This is known as an Objective-Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and has to be completed in the UK. Here you will face a series of mock scenarios which you are likely to encounter at work. You will be assessed over a period of time and there are six stations for you to deal with. You will only pass if you safely meet the required standards.
Once you have passed these rigorous assessments, you will be interviewed for formal identification along with your accompanying documents. Once this is approved and payments are confirmed, you will be sent your registration number or PIN.
Jobs and visas
The hard work isn’t over after this point though, as you will obviously still need to find an actual job within the NHS. Fortunately, there are places designed to help – such as agencies like Nursing Personnel, where you can find a range of jobs across different disciplines and in different UK cities.
Following this, you must apply for and then receive a valid work visa to ensure you can legally work in the UK.
Finally, when all the pieces are in place, you can begin your new nursing role. Good luck!