Introduction

A career in nursing in the UK can be very rewarding. You can explore great opportunities and have a brilliant work life balance. If you are planning to do so, there would be many questions in your mind right now. Like what is the registration process, application process, exams, documents required etc. To lessen your burden, we have come up with this guide that will explain you with the entire process to become a nurse in the UK.

Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

In order to become a nurse in the UK, you must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) . NMC will assess your qualifications, training, and experience against NMC standards.
Nursing in the UK has 4 main subspecialties:

  • adult nursing
  • mental health nursing
  • learning disabilities nursing
  • children’s nursing.

Based on your nationality there are different ways you can register with NMC.

1. Nurses trained outside the UK and EEA

Those trained outside UK and EEA can apply to be on the NMC register, provided they meet certain requirements. NMC will compare the training that you have achieved in your country to the one which is required in the UK.

What is the process?

Since 2014, there is just one process for registration with NMC for all the nurses that have been trained outside the UK and EEA. It consists of two steps.

  • Part I- computer based MCQ exam which can be given by the candidates from their home country or in the UK.
  • PART II- A Practical Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) that will be held only in the UK.

Along with these foreign nationals are also required to meet certain English language standards set by NMC. You can assert this in the following ways.

    1. Achieving a minimum overall score in one of the English Language tests accepted by the NMC .
There are two English tests whose score NMC considers to assess your English proficiency.

  • IELTS: The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is an international test of English language proficiency. You must complete the ‘academic version’ of the IELTS, according to the NMC’s requirements.
  • OET: The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is an international English language test for the healthcare sector. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment in a medical context. This was introduced by the NMC as an alternative to the IELTS.

Note: If you wish to do OET you will also have to do IELTS UKVI with a score of 4 in each module for Tier 2 visa application.

Changes to English language requirements

NMC now accepts an IELTS certificate that confirms you scored a minimum of 6.5 in writing alongside a minimum of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, so long as you achieved the minimum overall score of 7.0.

Combining IELTS test scores

You can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if:

  • you sit the tests within six months of each other
  • you’re tested in all four sections at the same time
  • all scores in both sittings are above 6.5, and
  • you achieve at least 6.5 in the writing section and at least 7 in the reading, listening and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings.

Combining OET test scores

You can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if:

  • you sit the tests within six months of each other
  • you’re tested in all four sections at the same time
  • all grades in both sittings are above Grade C+, and
  • you achieve Grade B or higher in all four sections when the results of both sittings are viewed together.

Note: From our personal experience, we recommend choosing OET as according to feedback, most candidates find OET much easier than IELTS.

   2.A recent pre-registration nursing or midwifery qualification which was taught and examined in English.

   3.3.Registration and practice of minimum one year in a country where English is the first and native language and an English language assessment was required for registration.

2. Nurses trained in EEA

Nurses who have been trained in EEA must also meet the standards set by NMC along with the evidence that they have the necessary knowledge of English.

Note: Nurses who are not EEA nationals and have been trained in EEA may be required to give one or both parts of the application process above.
You can read more about the EEA nationals on the NMC website.

Step-by-step UK nurse application process

Eligibility

Before you begin your application, applicants are required to complete a self-assessment of their eligibility. They must confirm that they meet the minimum requirements of good health and character. If the applicant confirms the declaration and cannot provide the evidence at the assessment stage of the process, they won’t be allowed to progress and the assessment fees will not be refunded.

There are different fees for different stages of the application process: Application for nursing/midwifery £140

Part 1 test of competence (CBT) £90
Part 2 test of competence (OSCE) £794
Admission onto the register £153
Total £1,177

Each professional field of nursing (adult, general, children’s, learning disabilities, mental health and the midwifery profession) is examined by the NMC’s test of competence. As already mentioned, Part I is an online MCQ and Part II is called OSCE which needs to be taken in the UK.

Test of Competence- Part I

CBT

This will be a computer-based test of theoretical-practice knowledge. This will be an MCQ based test and can be taken by the candidates by sitting in test centres around the world. For more information, you may refer to CBT candidate information booklet.

Test of Competence- Part II

The objective structured Clinical Examination

This part will assess the candidate’s clinical knowledge and can be completed only in the UK. Here clinical environment and patient scenarios would be set out which registered nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of a patient. An individual clinical scenario is called a ‘station’ and candidates will be required to visit all stations within a stipulated time.

If you unfortunately fail OSCE you will only have to repeat the individual station/s which you have not passed not the whole test.


The test is based on current UK pre-registration nursing standards and would demand the candidates to demonstrate safe and effective practice.
OSCE can be taken at one of the NMC-approved university test centres. Currently, the following universities are approved as test centres.

What is included in OSCE?

The OSCE is made up of six separate stations, each lasting 15 minutes with an additional five minutes preparation time. Four stations are designed to test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care, and the remaining two stations test clinical skills. The NHS constitutional values and the 6Cs of nursing are assessed throughout the OSCE at all stations.

Typical skills that will be tested either on their own or within a nursing/midwifery scenario include:

  • vital signs
  • calculating drug dosages
  • intramuscular and subcutaneous injections
  • basic life support – cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Adult, Paediatric)
  • safe disposal of sharps
  • medication administration
  • peak flows
  • wound care
  • urinary catheterisation
  • hand hygiene
  • palpation (midwifery)
  • auscultation of foetal heart (midwifery)
  • newborn check (midwifery)

Candidates can prepare well with the help of this candidate information booklet on How to prepare for the OSCE.

How many times can I appear in the test of Competence?

  • You can appear thrice in both the parts of the test with a minimum of 10 days between each sitting.
    • If you unfortunately fail OSCE you will only have to repeat the individual station/s which you have not passed not the whole test.
  • If you are unsuccessful to achieve the minimum score, your application will close. You will then have to wait for 6 months in order to reappear in CBT or OSCE.

Identification check

On the day of the OSCE exam, candidates will be required to attend a face-to-face identity check at the test centre. On the day, you will have to produce photocopies of the original documents which were sent earlier. You must wait for the NMC to contact you before you make the identity check appointment.

Is there a need for prior work experience?

Previously overseas nurses and midwives wishing to join the register needed to have practised for 12 months after their qualifications. Fortunately, this requirement has been removed now and applicants can apply to join right after their qualifications. But most employers in the UK would want at least 2-3 years of overseas nursing experience before they offer a job.

Final registration

On successful completion of part two of the test of competence and the ID check, the applicant will be invited to complete their final declaration and payment for registration online. Thereafter, the applicant will receive his registration number (PIN).

List of documents for NMC registration and UK Visa process

  • A valid passport
  • Birth certificates
  • 10th and 12th Marksheets [ A level results]
  • Nursing diploma and registration certificates
  • Transcript of training for all relevant nursing programmes successfully completed by the applicant. These must be calculated in hours or be accompanied by a letter from the training institution with a key to how the credits translate to hours.
  • Employment references confirming their good health and good character. Make sure the references provided by you respond to the emails.
  • Registration certificates from each jurisdiction where the applicant has practised and/or been registered – if the applicant’s country operates state registration, they will need to have registered in each state where they practised.
  • Verifications from all jurisdictions where the applicant practised or has been previously registered.
  • For every overseas country in which they have lived for more than three months, they will need to provide a police clearance certificate. If they have lived in the UK for more than three months, they will need to provide a standard level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate.

What is the expected range of Salary of a UK nurse?

The average salary for a registered nurse in the UK is £23,319 per year. Starting salary for fully-qualified nurses in the UK is £22,128 rising to £28,746 on Band 5 of the NHS Agenda for Change Pay Rates. Salaries in London attract a high-cost area supplement. With experience salaries progress from £26,565 to £35,577. At more senior levels such as Matron and Nurse Consultant (Bands 7 to 8c) salaries range from £31,696 to £69,168.

Career Progression

You can progress your career moving from a registered nurse to nurse practitioner, matron and nurse consultant.
Popular specializations in the NHS include:

  • Accident and emergency
  • Cancer/ palliative/ Macmillan nurse
  • District nurse
  • Intensive care nurse
  • Occupational health
  • GP practice nurse
  • Sexual health nurse

With efficient management skills and high level of specialist knowledge and experience, you can progress towards roles such as ward sister, ward manager and team leader.

For more information on possible career pathways, you can check the NHS Careers in nursing resource.

How can Britasiadoctors help you?

The process of becoming a nurse in the UK is a bit complicated and the very first step that you should take to ensure that the process is hassle-free is choosing a partner that can guide you through each step. The team of Britasiadoctors is beside you from the point you decide to become a nurse in the UK till you achieve your dream. With our experience and prowess, we will make all the stages including the registration process, exam and interview

preparation, visa application and your arrival in the country phenomenally easy for you. With us, you can accelerate the pace of getting your dream job. Our robust support will guide you to take all the measures correctly so that you can complete the process smoothly. For more information, please visit our service section.

You don’t need to pay anything for the process!

The prime benefit of choosing our company is that you don’t have to pay any fees for the process. Britasiadoctors only works with the agencies that never charge fees to the candidates. Neither will our company charge you any fee.

As part of the process, you only need to pay £249 for the IELTS UKVI test & £140 for the NMC initial registration. Sometimes even this is paid for by some employers and other expenses like Visa Fee/IHS, first month’s accommodation etc. are also taken care of. Additionally, you need to pay the amount at the respective stages and directly to the authorized bodies, never to us. Most of the registration fee is reimbursed by employers. Also, you can work as an HCA until you pass your exams and get your PIN number.

Our clients are determined to support and pay for you so that you can easily proceed towards your bright nursing career. Our team is experienced and proficient in the entire procedure and by choosing us you can be assured of getting the best results. For more information, please check our service page.
As part of the process, you only need to pay £249 for the IELTS UKVI test & £140 for the NMC initial registration. Sometimes even this is paid for by some employers and other expenses like Visa Fee/IHS, first month’s accommodation etc. are also taken care of. Additionally, you need to pay the amount at the respective stages and directly to the authorized bodies, never to us. Most of the registration fee is reimbursed by employers. Also, you can work as an HCA until you pass your exams and get your PIN number.

Our clients are determined to support and pay for you so that you can easily proceed towards your bright nursing career. Our team is experienced and proficient in the entire procedure and by choosing us you can be assured of getting the best results. For more information please check our service page.

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