The NHS are short of nurses and the quickest way to fill nurse job vacancies is to recruit from overseas. Although not on the official Shortage Occupations list used by the Home Office when awarding points for Tier 2 working visas, it doesn't take a genius to work out that there is a massive staffing crisis and shortage of nurses, as well as Healthcare Assistants (HCA), in both the NHS and the less well paid private nursing home sector.
Here are some statistics from a survey commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union:
20,000 nurse job vacancies in nationally
55,000 community nurses in 2012 said that 43% of them are 50+ and will retire within 10 years
23,000 nurses are needed just to cope with retirements
I will be going through the requirements for working as a nurse in the UK in more detail as new nurse job vacancies are published. In the meantime, check out the NMC website, which lists the conditions under which an overseas nurse can practice or work in the UK as a Registered General Nurse (RGN).
RGN's need an NMC PIN or licence to work in the UK. Most EU nurses will qualify automatically, unlike the majority of non-EU nurses (e.g. from India or The Philippines) who will need to go through a period of adaptation training (Overseas Nurses Programme or ONP) in order to practice.
If you have trained as a nurse outside the UK the NMC will assess your qualifications for a fee of £140.
You can register online, but check the requirements first to avoid wasting your money. You will need at least 1 year of clinical experience to qualify and an English language level of IELTS 7.00.
Graduates of overseas universities can have any qualification compared with UK qualifications through a NARIC assessment with UK NARIC.
Finally, watch out for scam artists and fake or illegal recruiters who will steal your dreams as well your hard earned cash. NHS hospitals normally only deal with reputable agencies who are on a framework or preferred suppliers list. They will NOT use your local travel agent or visa fixer to recruit nurses! Never send money (especially via Western Union who will take no responsibility for internet scammers helped by them to transfer your money) to these internet based "recruiters" - with no office or land line - who promise you heaven on earth but deliver hell. In most countries recruitment firms are regulated (e.g. by the POEA in The Philippines), so if you deal with an illegal, unregulated agency you have no protection.
If you need advice on any immigration matter, including overstaying your visa, EU or UK immigration law, or want to appeal against a refusal, call Cynthia Barker on 07850 307687 or 0208 731 5972 or email her your details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cynthia Barker is a qualified OISC Registered Immigration Adviser, with 15 years experience in immigration matters, with a team of Level 3 Immigration Law Practitioners, Concept Care Solutions, Middlesex House, 29-45 High Street, Edgware, HA8 7UU.