Moving to the UK as a US trained NP-perhaps finding something else to do?

  1. Hello All!

    As it has now been made completely clear to me that working in the UK as an FNP may not be an option for me, I had another question which I hope any of you may have suggestions or advice for.

    I will be certified as an FNP in the US, but until I get experience here I will not be able to work in the UK. Therefore, if getting that experience is not possible due to a timeline I am on before moving, what are some of my other options for work in the UK with this degree?

    What other routes of employment/sectors will my education be of benefit and favorable? Since I am not familiar with the workforce in the UK, I was wondering if you all could point in me the right direction? I know in the US you probably could use your degree in education, healthcare business, health coaching, etc. Wanting to figure out my other options as I will be in London or right outside its city limits. A visa is of no concern.

    Lastly, if the other options don't pan out, and I have to wait an additional year before moving, what are the work circumstances like for foreign trained FNP in England? Without NHS experience, is it hard to find a job? Easy to adjust to a new system of care? Private sector? Am I better off just finding something else to do no matter what if I end of moving?

    Thank you!
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   skylark
    I seriously doubt that there is much work in this field outside the NHS. There are a few private practices around, but they are few and far between.
    If you have 2 years or more experience in this field, you could try applying for a 1 year BSc in community nursing, which would be a recognised Uk qualification. I did mine at LSBU, and there are a few other similar courses around the country as well
    But you would need sponsorship from an employer, who will also arrange your supervised practice during the course, so again you really need to be in the NHS in the first place.

    Try applying for jobs as a community nurse, its similar to home health, with a predominately elderly caseload, so a lot of chronic disease management and chronic wound care. You would need to be proficient in leg ulcer management, for example, involving compression therapy and VAC therapy.
    The Trusts that hire community nurses tend to sponsor one nurse per year for the BSc, so its very competitive, and you will need to prove yourself for a few years before applying. But it can be done.

    Where in the UK do you intend to be?
  4. by   danceluver
    @ Skylark. Thank you for your response. I will be likely in London or right outside in the nearby suburbs (Surrey ie). I was also thinking maybe something away from actual nursing, where my degree might be useful (like in a consulting firm related to health, fitness, education, etc); as I am trying to find other avenues aside from working as a practitioner in the most traditional of ways since that's unlikely going to happen. I know London and the surrounding areas can be a very expensive area to live and therefore will a masters degree I was hoping there would be something comparable in a related field that this degree would be highly value or coveted in with a relative lateral movement in income. I just don't know where to start :/
  5. by   skylark
    London and the "home counties" are probably the most expensive place to live on earth!
    Over the years many nurses have relied on subsidies, and failed schemes like the Keyworker Housing Scheme, to help them afford a home, but the bottom line is that its almost impossible as an NHS nurse to afford to live in London unless you have a partner earning big bucks.
    Many 'top up' their income with welfare, especially if they have kids. Like many of my coworkers, I used to live on a houseboat, as housing is just too darned expensive anywhere within a 40 miles radius of central London.
    London property - Flats and houses for sale or to rent in London

    If you want to stay in nursing, then I stand by my earlier suggestion of gaining RN experience first, then applying as a Community Nurse. once you are "in" you can apply to do the BSc as a Community Nurse Practitioner, and then will get you into Practice Nursing.

    There is work in sales with the pharmaceutical industry, although not on such a big scale as in the US. Us Brits are not easily convinced of anything by sales talks and advertising, and so clinical choices and purchases are usually made after a search of clinical evidence instead. We would rather google something than listen to a sale pitch full of claims that can't be verified!

    But there are certainly wound care product companies who have busy sales teams, meeting with teams of community nurses on a regular basis. That might be something to consider?
    The nurses will tell it like it is, and be aware that many nurses are also prescribers, so listen to them!
  6. by   A.Robins
    In terms of the money, it is expensive to live in London and the suburbs around it, but it's not impossible. I'm a band 5 nurse, splitting rent equally with my brother, in a VERY nice complex in greater London, and it's not really a struggle at all.
  7. by   Freya008
    Hi Danceluver,

    If you want to use your skills as an FNP you could look into seeing if the US embassy are looking for NPs. They do occasionally recruit and they will only take on nurses with American credentials. I think there is also a small American military presence outside London too, they might be similar.

    If you want to try working as a nurse in England then you'd need to get licensed. FNP is similar to a nurse practitioner here. I work as a practice nurse which is a grade down. You could easily work as a practice nurse here if you want to try working in the NHS, once you've got all licensed etc...

    In terms of working privately, you still need NMC registration. I actually work in private healthcare for an American company in London, so yes you still need NMC registration for that.

    In terms of other healthcare associated jobs that could use your skills, there's not really a central place to look for these i'm afraid. But it's not impossible. There are health tech start ups, medical sales, medical research etc all looking for jobs. Use linked in, set up a profile and get yourself seen. I always have recruiters trying to add me on there. Where you will be living is close to the M4 corridor so lots of science/pharmaceutical companies there.
  8. by   cactus2016
    Hi all,

    I am another NP now living in the UK and working on getting my registration sorted. At this point, the NMC seems very clear on requiring one year of full-time experience in your home country of registration. Also, depending on what you did prior to the NP registration, the NMC may or may not accept your training and qualifications.

    Honestly, using your experience to do a non-nursing career might be difficult in the UK. (At least for me!) I have over ten years of experience, including in QI/QA, research, scanning, etc., but have found that the UK system is very reliant upon courses and certificates, and if you don't have them, it can be hard to get your foot in the door, even if your qualifications in the US are well beyond what is required for a particular job.

    I have been going through this process for over one year...happy to chat more if you like. Feel free to PM me.