Top 9 Reasons To Work In The NHS As An Overseas Nurse


February 20th, 2019   |   Updated on February 13th, 2024

Working as a foreign nurse in the National Health Service (NHS ) comes with numerous advantages.

As part of the NHS, the most prestigious healthcare system on British soil, you are expected to provide the best health care service.

If you are an experienced nurse in countries like the Philippines, India, Belarus, Argentina, Angola, Belize, or other non-EEA or non-EU countries, you should consider working in the UK as a foreign NHS nurse.

Below are the top reasons why it’s great to work as an overseas NHS nurse in Great Britain.

1. Assured Financial Security


If you qualify to work for the NHS, you’re guaranteed to a three-year working contract. This long-term work contract can provide you with the financial stability you need to live in the country.

If you provide satisfactory performance, the NHS will renew your contract for another three years. Thousands of overseas nurses have been working with a single NHS trust for more than ten years.

2. Easy To Manage Work Hours

Every foreign nurse in the United Kingdom needs to render at least 37 and a half hours per week. This flexible schedule allows nurses like you to achieve balance in your life and work.

In case you want to work more hours, you are allowed to do so. You will be paid with hourly salary enhancements for your overtime work. NHS nurses also have the option to work on bank holidays.

3. Earn A High Salary For Your Hardwork

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NHS nurses earn around £22,000 to £30,000 depending on where you choose to work in. The salary may increase if you complete specialisation training.

For example, if you complete your training and certification as an RN anaesthetist, you can earn roughly £73,000.

If you train to become an Orthopaedic nurse, your median income can amount to £46,000 a year.

4. Free Accommodation

The UK government recognises the difficulty of relocating to a new country.

That’s why they provide free accommodations to qualified NHS nurses, for at most eight weeks.

This will give you enough time to explore the UK to find a suitable place where you can live in whilst you render your medical services.

5. Get Your Money Back For Your IELTS And Visa Processing

Applying to work in the UK if you’re from outside the EEA or EU can cause a huge dent on your budget.

The same can be said for the IELTS examination which can set you back by roughly £140.

Thankfully, if you qualify for the NHS, the client can refund the costs of your visa application and the IELTS testing fee.

6. A Nice Pension Coverage

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You need to retire from work at some point. After rendering years of service for the NHS trust, you will earn an awesome pension plan coverage.

The government will enrol you in a pension plan account as soon as you start providing your services. Your pension plan premiums are protected by inflation rates so you can enjoy a happy life after retirement.

7. Induction Programme To Help You Get Settled

To ensure that all the NHS nurses provide the best care to patients, the government provides a detailed induction programme.

The programme is designed to help you adjust to your new life in the country as a foreign worker.

8. First-day Service Freebies

The NHS provides food items like milk, sugar and bread on your first day as a registered nurse allowing you to settle in with greater ease.

Surely you will find yourself in love with British treats such as fish & chips and pudding as you continue to work every day at the hospital.

9. Enjoy More Than 30 Days Paid Leave

NHS provides a lucrative paid leave incentive for their staff. If you are a registered nurse, you are entitled to 27 days of paid vacation.

If you work for the NHS for more than five years, they will increase your paid leave to 29 days.

You can use your paid leaves to explore the many beautiful and enchanting cities in the UK like Belfast, Yorkshire and Edinburgh.

Apart from the paid leaves, you will also get paid for eight official holidays. As of 2019, these are the official bank holidays in the UK:

  • New Year’s Day
  • St Patrick’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Early May holiday
  • Spring holiday
  • Battle of the Boyne
  • Summer bank holiday
  • St Andrew’s Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Take note that there are bank holidays applicable to selected parts of the UK only. For example, St. Patrick’s Day holiday is only for folks living in Northen Ireland.

What Are The Requirements

To work as a registered nurse who trained outside Great Britain, there are requirements you have to meet.

The most important requirement you need to have is the two-part test. You must be complete and pass both tests before you can start looking for employment in the UK.

The NHS uses this competency test to assess whether or not your knowledge and training meet standards.

The test comprises of two parts, the CBT and OSCE. For the CBT or the computer-based assessment, you will answer a set of multiple choice questions.

This part of the test allows the NHS to check your experience and theoretical knowledge in nursing. You must take this part of the competency test before you go to Great Britain.

The OSCE, which stands for objective structured clinical examination is used to assess your level of practice and training.

The exam consists of a practical demonstration that will be assessed and monitored by a panel of NHS professionals.

You must prepare for the exam because if you fail to pass, your application will be rejected. Also, you may need to pay another set of fees for the retake.

Aside from the results of the test, below are the rest of the requirements needed to complete your registration as a nurse in Great Britain:

  • Application fee
  • Competency test fee
  • Registration fee
  • Personal Identification documents
  • UK working visa
  • IELTS score

The application may take a few weeks to complete. If you receive approval, you can start job your job hunting.

Job Hunting Tips For Overseas Nurses


After completing the necessary requirements, your next order of business is to find a suitable position to fill.

When you look for nursing jobs you should read through the descriptions carefully. You must ensure that you meet the qualifications set by the NHS.

Read what type of nurse they want to hire, how many years of experience is needed, what certifications do you need to possess.

Avoid applying to positions that you don’t qualify for to avoid wasting your time, energy and resources. The application process can be a long and tedious task so you must choose which positions you should pursue.

You should also consider the location to avoid or minimise your relocation costs. Target job openings near your residence.

Alternatively, if you plan to work in another city, you must consider the standard of living. Think about your expenses if you work in a particular city.

Are there available accommodations in your target area? Will you be able to afford the rent? How many hours do you need to spend on a commute? You must think of these key considerations.

Working in the UK is quite promising to many nursing professionals especially those who target employing under the NHS trust.

If you’re eyeing on relocating to Great Britain to pursue your nursing career, be sure to know the steps involved plus the key requirements you need to present.

Health Disclaimer :

Information provided by does in no way substitute for qualified medical opinion. Any text, videos or any other material provided by us should be considered as generic information only. Any health related information may vary from person to person, hence we advice you to consult specialists for more information.