What International Nurses need to work in the UK!


Working as a Nurse in the UK can provide a lot of opportunities and a great standard of living. We have put together a short guide on the requirements a Nurse needs in order to work in the UK.


All Nurses must have registration with a license to legally practice Nursing to work in the UK. Registration and license to practice is issued by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and is required by all Nurses in the UK whether you work for the NHS, independent sector, full, part-time or agency roles.

There are also different registration types available and some requirements must be met in order to register. Visit the NMC Website for more information or to apply for registration.

Right to Work in UK

In order to work in the UK, you will have to meet the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigrations Regulations. There are many visa types available to suit your situation. For more information and to apply, visit their website here.

Some healthcare providers can help with visa sponsorship. Our Permanent Recruitment Team are available to discuss this further.

English Proficiency

In order to be placed in a permanent nursing role in the UK, you must demonstrate your English Language abilities as part of the tier 2 visa application and professional body registration.

The NMC recognises IELTS and OET examinations to test your English proficiency. Both exams consist of four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking which can be completed on paper or on a computer at local test centres.

The NMC require an overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing section and a 7 in reading, listening and speaking sections. For the OET exam, NMC require at least a grade C+ in writing and a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking modules.

Choosing which exam to take is down to personal preference, check out our blog to read more about each exam in detail to help you make a decision.

Test of Competence

Nurses applying from overseas and without UK experience will have to complete a test of competence to assess your skills and knowledge.

There are two tests which consist of one multiple-choice computer based test known as the CBT and a practical test known as the OSCE. Both parts need to be completed to proceed with the application. They can be completed in any order and will remain valid for 5 years.


Nurses wanting to be placed in a permanent role in the UK with Direct Medics ideally should have a minimum of 1 year Nursing experience. We have roles available within a variety of specialties and our recruitment team can discuss potential sponsorship details for a role once registration and work requirements are met.

For more information on requirements or job opportunities available, get in contact with our permanent recruitment team today at permrecruitment@directmedics.com