U.S. Trained CNM Looking to Work in U.K.

  1. I'm a U.S. trained CNM (DNP) wondering what the process of gaining licensure in the U.K. is like? How long does this process usually take? How easy is it to pass the licensing exams with the CNM education?
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   LibraSunCNM
    I have no direct knowledge of this myself, but in conversation with a former colleague who tried to do this very thing, I learned that it is more or less impossible. The UK allows foreign midwives from their commonwealths/former colonies (places like Trinidad, Australia, Bermuda, etc.) to work there, and pretty much no one else. That may have changed in the year since we had that conversation, and I certainly encourage you to apply directly to the UK administrative groups for midwifery, but I'm guessing you'll be SOL. Sorry!
  4. by   babyNP.
    You could do a search in the UK forum if you like. I'm a trained nurse in the US and have a UK license after a lot of work (this was a few years ago and the process for registration is now very different). It's very different over there. You don't need to become a nurse to become a midwife over there and (as your probably know) is a lot less intervention based compared to the US; a lot less epidurals and a lot of nitrous oxide. Keep in mind that the pay is a lot lower. Below is a link to where you get get a guide on joining the registrar. Because the education is different (i.e. you probably didn't do a 3 year long degree on midwifery) it looks like you'd have to get the UK nurse license (adult) and the midwife license.

    Trained outside the EU/EEA

    According to the guide, here are the basic requirements of your schooling (post work experience usually doesn't count in my experience with the NMC)

    • advising pregnant women, involving 100 pre-natal examinations
    • carrying out 40 deliveries, or carrying out 30 deliveries and actively participating in a further 20
    • participation in breech deliveries (where this is not possible, because of a lack of
    breech deliveries, practice may be in a simulated setting)
    • the performance of episiotomy and induction in suturing
    • supervision and care of 40 women who are at risk in pregnancy, labour or the
    post-natal period
    • supervision and care of 100 post-natal women and healthy babies
    • observation and care for the new-born requiring special care
    • care of women with pathological conditions relating to gynecology and obstetrics
    • introduction to medicine and surgery relevant to women's health
    • experience of working as a midwife in a community setting.


    They've changed the process recently where you have to take an exam related to "the code" which is their nursing by-laws which apparently had a 0% pass rate (I'm being facetious but not really the initial pass rate was not even double digits). Much higher pass rate now. Then you have to go to the UK to pass a physical test which again others have struggled with but there is extensive postings about this in the international forums, just do a search. Apparently there are companies now that help you learn the exact way to do skills as in the UK for the practical exam, there is no such thing as more than one way to skin a cat. Looks like you'd do one for the midwife portion license too.

    Keep in mind that the pay in the UK is dreadful. Here's a link:

    NHS pay scales 217-18 | Royal College of Nursing

    Midwives are paid at band 5 and can progress to band 6 (looks like some management/senior levels can go up to band 7). That's 22,000 pounds for step 1 on band 5 up to 35,000 pounds on the last step on band 6. Tough to swallow. Nurse practitioners are not much better, paid at band 8a which salary approaches what I made as a bedside nurse a few years ago.

    All in all this will take a long time. Probably at least a year. Keep us posted if you decide to go for it, would be interesting to hear your journey.
  5. by   babyNP.
    aw man. You write a really long, thoughtful reply complete with links, outlook, and best wishes...and turns out OP is a drive-by poster. Don't you hate it when that happens?
  6. by   LibraSunCNM
    Quote from babyNP.
    aw man. You write a really long, thoughtful reply complete with links, outlook, and best wishes...and turns out OP is a drive-by poster. Don't you hate it when that happens?
    totally! I was thinking the same thing.