Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the eligibility requirements to work as a nurse in the UK?

You must be a Registered Nurse, with a PIN in your country of origin. You must also have obtained a pass certificate with the required scores in one of the accepted English languages tests by the NMC (The Nursing and Midwifery Council), in each of the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. You must also have passed the test of competence part one, (CBT) and part two, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). You can apply straight after qualifying as a nurse in your country of registration.

Who is the NMC and what do they do?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulator for Nursing and Midwifery professions in the UK. The NMC maintains a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses eligible to practise within the UK. Your application to work as a registered nurse in the UK is considered by them. They are not the UKVI or Home Office.

What is the difference between UKVI IELTS and IELTS Academic and OET?

‘IELTS for UKVI’ is a UK government approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This means that IELTS can be used to confirm your aptitudes in English language, in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application.
The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. It presents some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. The NMC accepts this test to meet the standard of its English language requirement to work in the UK.

The OET (Occupational English Test) is an international English language test that evaluates the language communication skills of Healthcare Professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. The NMC accepts this test to meet the standard of its English language requirement to work in the UK.

Do I need one year’s work experience at a hospital to apply?

Previously, international nurses and midwives wishing to apply to join the NMC’s register were required to have worked for 12 months after attaining their qualification. The NMC has now removed this requirement, meaning applicants can apply to join the register immediately after qualifying. Note however that most NHS hospitals in the UK still require a minimum of 12 months clinical experience to consider your application.

What is CBT and how much does it cost?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Test of Competence Part 1, is a computer-based test (CBT) exam and a test of your theoretical practice-based knowledge, consisting of 120 Multiple Choice Questions for 4 hours. The NMC CBT is intended for nurses trained outside the EU (European Union) and European Economic Area seeking employment as a nurse in the UK. It can be taken in test centres around the world. The cost of the Computer-Based Test (CBT), is now £90, as compared to the previous cost £130. The full cost of the practical examination (OSCE) is reduced to £794 from £992. The resit cost of the exam will be £397 from £496. These new costs have been implemented from 1st April 2019.

What is OSCE and how much does it cost?

The OSCE will assess your clinical knowledge and can only be completed in the UK. The test will be administered by one of the NMC’s approved university test centres who will administer their own test fee in agreement with us. You’ll need to contact the university directly to book and pay for your test. The test costs £794 per attempt and part resit will cost £397.

What is an NMC Decision Letter or Authorisation Letter?

After you’ve passed the CBT, you’ll be asked to provide your supporting documents for your registration application. Once all the necessary documents have been received, your application will be assessed by a member of the NMC’s International Registrations Team.
A decision is normally made about your application within 60 calendar days of receiving all your supporting proof. Once the NMC validates that you’ve met the registration requirements, you will receive a letter authorising you to progress to the next stage, which is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Why does it take a long time to receive a Decision Letter?

The NMC aims to decide your application within 60 calendar days. The possible delays include when one or more supporting documents you have provided are incomplete, not signed or stamped, in the wrong format or not received in time. There are occasions when your application documents have been missing or misplaced within the NMC receiving team and therefore have not been considered. With your authorisation, we can be representatives based in the UK to liaise with the NMC in respect of your application, to ensure you receive a Decision Letter within the published guidance and time frame.

What is the average salary of a nurse working in an NHS hospital in the UK?

Upon arrival and before registration you will be paid from £16,333 per year (Band 3) and from £23,023 upon registration. Most Nursing Home pays from £31,200 per annum upon achieving full registration with the NMC.

Why do nursing homes pay more than the NHS hospitals?

This is because the nursing homes are a private sector and therefore have flexibility in offering a higher salary than the NHS. One of the reasons is to make working in this environment more attractive to nurses.

Can you help me obtain my Decision Letter? I have been waiting for more than 60 days and despite chasing up the NMC for my Decision Letter, I remain to be in the assessment queue.

There are various reasons for delay in receiving a Decision Letter. If you chose us to be your representative, we could help you get it right first time by submitting the correct and complete forms and make sure the NMC has everything about your application, to help them make a decision according to their policy.

A Sponsor (NHS Trust or Nursing Home) has offered me a role but 3 months has passed already and I’m still waiting for my Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), can you help me secure this?

It can take from 1 to 8 weeks for this type of request to be decided. Sometimes, longer because of the volume of applications received by the Home Office. Your sponsor will assign you with a CoS which will be used for your visa application. If you chose us to be your representative, we could follow this up.

I’m signed up with a recruitment agency but I have been waiting for a long time to progress my application, can you help speed up my application?

Your agency has no control over any delay relating to Certificates of Sponsorship. However. we will use our knowledge, expertise and influence with the Home Office to the best of our ability to speed up the process.

Can you really process my application to the UK within 4 weeks, and how?

If you have the required pass certificates for IELTS or OET and CBT, and also been through your successful interview, your CoS would be issued within the 1st week of receiving an offer letter from your sponsor / employer, and your visa application would be submitted within the following few days from assigning your CoS. You can travel to the UK within a week after from receiving your visa which is usually decided within 2 weeks from submission.

I have over 5 years clinical experience in my country of training but most NHS Trusts do not take this into account with their salary offer, do you know why?

The NHS follows an approved pay system set by the government. Generally, all International Nurses start at the lowest end of Band 5 after obtaining full registration with the NMC. There is an opportunity to make progress to the higher end of the scale or move up to Band 6 within 12 months. However, some Trusts consider clinical experience outside the UK and are willing to pay the salary level appropriate to your experience. We work with some these Trusts.

My employer /sponsor is now asking me to pay back some of the costs of hiring me, is this legal?

If these conditions are set out in your contract of employment and you agreed to it, they may be able to implement this agreement. Please check with us for individual advice.

Better Health Care is Our Mission

01256 354 305 | 07340 977 377 | 07880 960 333