What do I need to know?
If you are not a UK citizen, and qualified as a nurse or midwife outside the UK, this page answers some frequently asked questions that should help you to get a job in the UK, in relation to getting your registration
Will my qualifications be recognised?
The qualifications of nurses and midwives who are citizens of EU or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries are recognised under an agreement between all member states. However, you will need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) - the UK's regulatory body - unless you only want to work in the UK temporarily. If you come from outside the European Union your qualifications will not be recognised automatically.
The process of registering with the NMC can take months - at the time of writing the NMC is experiencing delays in processing overseas registrations, although it aims to process them in 135 days. Applications for entry to the NMC's register are considered on the basis of education, training and registration outside the UK, as well as the ability to communicate effectively in English.
For those outside the EU or EFTA they are considered on an individual basis, so it is not possible to say whether an application would be accepted immediately, or involve a long wait and further work or study. However, training in some countries may lead to rapid acceptance providing certain criteria have been met. These countries are the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and Hong Kong.
Depending on an applicant's experience and education, he or she may be accepted immediately, required to gain further clinical experience - either in the UK or abroad - or undergo a further period of education and training.
How do I find out?
The NMC's registration department has a special section that handles overseas registrations. You can telephone the department on (+44) 20 7333 6600 between 08.00 and 17.00, weekdays, or email OverseasReg@nmc-uk.org.
Alternatively, you can write to:
23 Portland Place
Can I get written information?
Information for nurses and midwives trained outside the European Community is contained in an NMC booklet: Registering as a nurse or midwife in the UK.
How do I apply?
The NMC has an application pack. Before it will send the pack out, however, you will need to provide information on your:
title (for example: Miss, Mr, Mrs, Dr etc.)
surname (or family name)
date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
country of origin/training
whether you wish to be registered as a general nurse and/or a mental health nurse and/or a nurse for the mentally handicapped (learning disabilities) and/or a sick children's nurse and/or a midwife
Write to the NMC or email: email@example.com
Will I have to pay?
Yes. If you are an overseas (non EU or EFTA) applicant you will be asked to pay a non-returnable fee of £117 to receive the full application pack. You should not send this until you are asked to do so by the NMC. If you are accepted onto the Register, you will have to pay £93 for your first three years' registration.
What is a 'supervised placement'?
Nurses and midwives from some countries are advised by the NMC to obtain a supervised placement in a hospital or an approved nursing home, where their clinical abilities can be assessed. This seems to happen to those from countries whose registration is not automatically recognised by the NMC.
You would work as an unqualified care assistant for a set period, then, following correspondence with your employer, a decision will be made regarding your registration. Any NHS trust that seeks to employ nurses and midwives from overseas is worth approaching - if they are serious about this they are likely to help.
UK employers have a fair degree of freedom in how they organise these placements, so it is probably a good idea to approach more than one potential employer, to find an arrangement that suits you. You will not have to pay any commission or fees, and you will be giving them the benefit of your experience, if not your registration, so they should be generous!
The NMC website lists all nursing homes that are currently approved to offer supervised placements. If you do a placement at an unapproved home the NMC will not accept you onto the Register.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
23 Portland Place,
London, W1B 1PZ
Tel: (+44) 20 7637 7181
This information may change without notice, so you are urged to check with the sources cited in the text.