The journey to becoming a UK-Registered Nurse

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I am a nurse educated and trained from the Philippines. So when I decided to apply as a nurse in the United Kingdom (UK), I am required to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Computer Based Test for Nursing (CBT) and finally the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). When I was contemplating transferring to the UK, the idea seem daunting and exhaustive especially when I think of the exams that I will have to take and pass, the amount of documents I will be needing and the application process itself.

I learned on my journey to becoming a UK-RN to take each process one at a time and not think of it as one ginormous task that needed to be tackled all at once. It could become too overwhelming and discouraging. So break it apart. Take it step by step.

First step is taking the IELTS for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). Scores in all areas must be 7. If you happen to have a 6.5 in any category, you can retake the whole UKVI IELTS within 6 months and aim to get a 7 in the areas you had 6.5 on. Two Test Reports are accepted provided you meet the conditions above. Another option is to take the Occupational English Test (OET) which, however, is more expensive than IELTS.

After passing the IELTS you will now proceed to registering and booking your CBT through Pearson VUE. To prepare for the exam, I reviewed the Royal Marsden, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code, the blueprint which contains links that are really useful for the exam. All of that are provided once you registered for the CBT.

The third step is starting an application as overseas Registered Nurse (RN) at NMC. You will then be asked to submit documents to support your application. Aim to comply the soonest possible time to prevent delays. Once NMC is satisfied that you met the minimum requirement to take the OSCE, you will be sent through email a decision letter inviting you to sit for the OSCE.

Once you have the decision letter, step 4 is the application for Certificate of Sponsorship which will be done by your employer in the UK. You will be required to submit several documents still (but it should be easy for those documents are the same ones you have already). Once everything is approved they will issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) that is valid for three months from the date it was issued.

Step 5 is visa application. This is where you have your medical and you bring all original documents that you have submitted during the course of your application. Regular visa processing takes about 15 days but for express application it only takes 3 to 5 working days.

The most awaited part is step 6 which is your FLIGHT TO THE UK!

The whole process takes about 6 to 12 months. If others take longer it could be due to complying to requirements. As you start your application, take it one step at a time and celebrate each success you achieve so you don’t lose patience and momentum.

Work hard to achieve your dreams. Don’t be content with just dreaming. Wake up and take action to make them into a beautiful reality.

Good luck! How is your application going?

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