UK Nurse- Gynae/Acute Medicine/NICU

  1. Hi I'm a UK trained nurse who has recently received job offers for Gynaecology/Early Pregnacny, Emergancg Department and NICU. We are hoping to move to Cincinnati, OH in 2020 once all exams/visas are obtained.
    I am aware the US like specialised nurses but I'm also aware they like people with a diversity of experience.
    Should I go straight into NICU and specialise, or should I gain 18 months experience in Gynae/Acute Medicine and then go to NICU?

    Also, is anyone able to answer this:
    If I got my masters and specialised in NICU, working towards becoming a NICU Nurse Practitioner, in the UK. Would my qualifications convert and allow me to get a job as a NICU NP in US or would I be better getting my masters in the US once we've made the move?
    Thanks!!
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  2. Visit Matilda2 profile page

    About Matilda2

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 3
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    4 Comments

  3. by   babyNP.
    hi there, welcome to allnurses. I am a USA trained American who is a neonatal nurse practitioner but also happens to have a NMC license in the UK so I'm a bit familiar with the UK licensing system, although I have never practiced there.

    If you want to do NICU for your career, I would definitely do it in the UK so that you can show that you have experience. In general there is a shortage of experienced NICU nurses (note to others reading- not a shortage of new graduate RNs that want to do NICU), particularly children's hospitals. Most major cities have a children's hospital and a bunch of other NICUs. If you wanted to do pick another specialty ER would probably be the next best off your list. The other two sound more like clinic type work and would probably be harder to get a job.

    Have you looked into getting your RN license here? Most UK nurses are "adult trained" only and have a deficiency in hours in things like OB, peds, and mental health, etc etc. Look in the international forum and do a search- there are quite a few threads on the subject. If you fall into this category you'll probably have to take a semester or two at a nursing school to get the required hours. These kinds of programs are fairly rare. You may need to live in a different city for awhile if there is not one available in the city where you and your spouse will go. My best guess to find these would be to do a general google search and then barring that emailing nursing schools directly. You'll know which hours you'll need once you file your CGFNS which is the company which validates your nursing credentials (CGFNS Certification Program(R) | CGFNS International, Inc. | Global Credibility) to be eligible to take the NCLEX.

    I have never heard of anyone doing their masters as a NNP there and then transferring over to the USA (in the USA there is a separate NP license unlike the UK). I highly doubt that this would work, but the National Certification Corporation (National Certification Corporation - Home) is the one that administers the board exam that you would need to take and you can check with them on if you would be eligible. Actually come to think of it I think it has to be a Canadian or USA school. Plus then you would have to wrangle with the state board to get a NP license and make sure you took the "right" courses like patho, phys assessment, and pharm across the lifespan per our consensus model, so no best to not do it unless you want to do it twice.

    What you could do thought was to apply for school as soon as you got here because you would meet the requirements for school by having a visa & having the NICU RN experience. I bet schools let your RN NICU experience in the UK count- most require at least 2 years of experience.

    best of luck to you. keep me posted on how it all turns out : )
  4. by   Matilda2
    Thanks so much! You gave me loads of information there.
    I have previously spoken to an agency about the requirements for nursing in the US so was aware of the boards and NCLEX ect. I was also aware of the need for experience in paediatric, mental health and OB. I am an adult trained nurse but with having one of my rotations on a gynaecology ward I spent time in the obstetric Theatres with planned/emergancy C-sections and ectopic pregnancy management. I also work as a nursing assistant on the paediatric wards. I'm presuming that could count to the experience I'd need? Do you have any idea how i evidence this experience though? Something I definitely need to look into, and will email some of the local nursing schools to see where I'd stand.
    I had sort of decided getting my ANP qualifications in the US would be my best bet. I know our programmes are similar but I'd hate to have to do it all over again once in the US!! I just panick about the cost as in the UK a masters programme is funded through a government loan with really small re-payments!
    We will be in Cincinnati for a month in September so it'd probably be worth my while getting in contact with people who could maybe give me more guidance on the experience and masters side of it.
    You've given me a lot to look into and consider which is great! Thanks so much!
  5. by   babyNP.
    Unfortunately as far as I am aware, nursing experience does not count towards the requirements, it has to be what was actually taught in school. Again, there are many Brits with this problem that have posted on allnurses in the international forums so that might be a good source of information.

    The good thing with getting a US NP license is that I'm pretty sure if you went back over there's not really an issue with being a NP over there since there is not a separate license (I have looked into it since it's something I might do one day). I think you just need a prescribing license, do you know anything about that?

    I would not be surprised if nursing schools won't be much help because this isn't a super common situation, but I would keep persisting.

    If you end up living in Cincinati, there is a good NNP program out there (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Course Descriptions, University of Cincinnati) that my one of my colleagues attended. Keep in mind that some schools are only offering a doctorate in nursing practice rather than the masters. It's an extra year of school with basically some more clinical hours and few extra classes. Lots of discussion on the NP forums on this. I personally have a masters and practice just fine.

    You're right that the price tag might be a bit steep compared to the UK, but you also should be making a lot more $$ than the UK. At Band 8A pay scale for nurse practitioners, I currently make triple the amount on the first step when converted to US dollars. My salary is probably a little bit higher than the norm in the US, but not by that much. NNP salaries are among the highest compared to nurse practitioners because we work in an ICU environment while many other NPs work acute care or out patient. Ohio has a lower cost of living so I don't think you'd make as much there, but still significantly higher than the UK.
  6. by   Matilda2
    Yes, a huge reason for moving to the US is the salary increase for both me and my partner! Unfortunately nursing in the UK has pretty poor pay and even the extremely qualified nurses earn very little compared to the US.
    When converting your qualifications to the UK there is very little needed. There is a huge crisis for nurses, but unfortunately it's to opposite way round, the UK desperately need band 5/6 nurses and Assistant Practictioners (band 4) as the National Health Service cannot afford to pay the higher bands! Obviously still well worth looking into if it's something you'd like to do. As far as I know once you have your visa and a job offer all you need to do is evidence your qualifications, take an English, medicines management and precribing exam and then you're in! If qualifactions need converting/topping up they tend to do it whilst you're actively practicing on whatever unit you're working on. A lot easier then the US!!
    I'm going to have a read of the international forum now and see what I can find out.
    Thanks again!

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