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American Nurses in U.K

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by TravelMama72 TravelMama72 (New) New

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

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Oh wow! That’s awesome !

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Kaykay2016 specializes in Psych Rn.

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I’m joining in on this! I’m a US Florida licensed RN and coming to UK (mildenhall area) my significant other is air force and we’re living off base. (not married) I don’t technically have to work but I would like too.. anyone have any advice on getting a job in the UK as an American nurse???

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babyNP. has 11 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

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If you aren't married, what's your basis for legally staying in the UK? Are you a UK or EU national? If you don't have a visa, you can only stay for 6 months as a visitor from the US and are not legally allowed to work anyway.

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511 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

On 10/15/2019 at 10:05 PM, Kaykay2016 said:

I’m joining in on this! I’m a US Florida licensed RN and coming to UK (mildenhall area) my significant other is air force and we’re living off base. (not married) I don’t technically have to work but I would like too.. anyone have any advice on getting a job in the UK as an American nurse???

I'm not sure if you qualify to stay in the UK if you are not married.

Most US RNs from AFBs in that area work at Addenbrookes, its a large hospital in Cambridge. But you need to figure out your visa first, and then contact the NMC to see if you can register as an RN.

Expect to be employed as a CNA for the first year or so, and paid accordingly. It equates to around $15 a hour, rising to $21 when they accept you as an RN.

And expect to have a far more hands-on role that you do as a US RN.

Code browns are your problem, don't leave them with an assistant. Do your own wound care, fetch their meals and walk them to the washrooms. Oh and depending on the clinical area, expect to do your own EKGs and suture your own wounds. UK RNs get stuck  into the work, they don't delegate so expect to be on your feet the entire time.  

I'm a UK nurse working in Illinois and I was really shocked at how desk-bound US nurses are, they just delegate and supervise. You will need to get past that and get on with it!

 

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3 hours ago, skylark said:

I'm not sure if you qualify to stay in the UK if you are not married.

Most US RNs from AFBs in that area work at Addenbrookes, its a large hospital in Cambridge. But you need to figure out your visa first, and then contact the NMC to see if you can register as an RN.

Expect to be employed as a CNA for the first year or so, and paid accordingly. It equates to around $15 a hour, rising to $21 when they accept you as an RN.

And expect to have a far more hands-on role that you do as a US RN.

Code browns are your problem, don't leave them with an assistant. Do your own wound care, fetch their meals and walk them to the washrooms. Oh and depending on the clinical area, expect to do your own EKGs and suture your own wounds. UK RNs get stuck  into the work, they don't delegate so expect to be on your feet the entire time.  

I'm a UK nurse working in Illinois and I was really shocked at how desk-bound US nurses are, they just delegate and supervise. You will need to get past that and get on with it!

 

Lol Skylark while not as bad, UK then sounds like where I'm at in Brooklyn. A lot of times we end up doing these tasks as our techs and aides give attitude and love to sit/stand around and gossip. We definitely don't do our own sutures here though. After all that, I still can't over the difference in pay ( I know, I know free/cheap healthcare etc.) but I would still feel shorted.

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kaitfinder is a BSN, RN and specializes in USA Emergency Nurse, now RN in the UK.

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@Kaykay2016

Hey! 

Definitely consider how you're going to get right to stay in the UK. As people have previously mentioned, you definitely need to have a visa if you want to stay for longer than 6 months. Either a work or other visa. It's pretty easy to get a work visa as a nurse in the UK (if time consuming) and from my personal experience it's also pretty easy to get a job here as well. Things just take time (6-10 months at least in my experience, from applying for jobs to getting correct documentation to UK nurse licensing/testing to actually applying for and getting your visa). 

I haven't had so much of the same experience as Skylark, however. I work in an ED in Oxford and there's good rapport between the nurses and techs (here they're called CSWs). I rarely delegated in America and did most of my own work (some tasks were completed before I ever reached the patients i.e. EKGs, but I still did them if they needed to be completed later). Here, I do more delegation because there's more work to be done since there are fewer nurses to go around. I cleaned, fed, ambulated pretty much all of my patients in America, and I do the same here as well. I might delegate one of these jobs to a CSW, but only because I'm doing the same or different job with another patient at the same time. It's very team oriented, and I find the CSWs to be more proactive at my current place of work in the UK than I ever did in America.

I also didn't have to work as a CSW before working as an RN. I suspect Skylark suggests this as an option to make money/fill time while you wait for your nursing licensure to get through the NMC (UK board of nursing), but I got my license cleared before moving so I just jumped straight into nursing.

Let me know if you have any questions about getting licensed/getting a work visa in the UK as an RN, since you'll need one in order to stay with your significant other in the UK for longer than 6 months. You can also go the marriage visa route with a few different options that I'm happy to give you advice about as well (a friend of mine is going through that process now with his significant other).

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Regarding working as a CSW first, it depends how you intend to apply for your license.

If you opt for an Overseas Nursing Program, then yes, you will do a year or so as a tech, while you are supervised and work through competencies. 

You will be paid as a Band 4, instead of a Band 5.

 

If you manage to get a license by other means, you can bypass this first year and start working as an RN immediately, but its a much more complicated process to do this, and you will need to meet residency / visa requirements to choose this option, which it sounds as if you won't.

Clinically, read up on wound care, that is a major difference. WTD gauze doesn't cut it in Europe, its old-fashioned, went out in the 1950s and there is no clinical evidence to support its used. UK hospitals will only accept evidence based practice, so you will need to be competent in all contemporary wound care, such as vacs, compression bandaging, and the rationales for the choice of dressings, such as alginates, hydrocolloids, etc. Suturing skills are expected, as are the application of plaster casts. You can expect to get messy a lot of the time!

 

Oh, and don't ever go home in scrubs. Infection Control protocols are strict, you change into scrubs at work and you change back out of them at work. If you are seen in a grocery store or on a train in your scrubs,  you can kiss your license goodbye!

I did over 20 years in the NHS, let me know if you have any more questions!

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Lilygirl specializes in CV-ICU.

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Kay: would you please tell me how to start the processes of getting an UK nursing license? Do I need to look up a travel nursing agency?  I am a critical care nurse in the US & have been in nursing for 20yrs. I love London and would like to move there for a few years. Please help me to get start. thanks!

 

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Silverdragon102 has 31 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

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53 minutes ago, Lilygirl said:

Kay: would you please tell me how to start the processes of getting an UK nursing license? Do I need to look up a travel nursing agency?  I am a critical care nurse in the US & have been in nursing for 20yrs. I love London and would like to move there for a few years. Please help me to get start. thanks!

 

Go to the NMC website and follow instructions for those trained other the UK and EU

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Lilygirl specializes in CV-ICU.

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What is NMC stands for? 

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511 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

Nursing and Midwifery Council.

They are the national body for licensing RNs.

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kaitfinder is a BSN, RN and specializes in USA Emergency Nurse, now RN in the UK.

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@Lilygirl

On 11/8/2019 at 3:16 AM, Lilygirl said:

Kay: would you please tell me how to start the processes of getting an UK nursing license? Do I need to look up a travel nursing agency?  I am a critical care nurse in the US & have been in nursing for 20yrs. I love London and would like to move there for a few years. Please help me to get start. thanks!

 

Before you do any applications or commit to actually moving, you need to do some heavy research into whether this is genuinely what you want. They don't really do short term work visas and hospitals aren't liable to take and train you up for only a year of work out of you. Expect to stay a minimum of 3 years.

My researching phase took me about 4 months. I knew that I was going to go because I was moving to be with my partner, but the research was unbelievably important so I could know what to expect in the UK when it came to nursing, as well as just generally living here, how to actually move countries, laws, etc. Look up advice from other expats as well because it can be helpful. Consider whether you'll be okay living away from your family and friends for that long, missing certain types of food, different produce/products, etc. While England is very similar to America in a lot of ways (it is a western country after all), there are still some notable differences and you have to be willing to accept that you will be a foreigner in their country and things will be different. Consider why you want to move. Living in London is a nice goal and would be a good experience, but the excitement of living in a new country eventually wears off and then it turns into "it's just where I live."

Like people have mentioned above, check out the official Nursing and Midwifery Council website https://www.nmc.org.uk/ for some ideas on what nursing is like in the UK, as well as what you'd need to do to actually get licensed in the UK. The NMC is the equivalent of the Board of Nursing in whatever state you currently live in. Without their licensure, you cannot practice as a nurse.

After you have officially decided you want to commit to this decision, then you can start the rest of the process. Consider what area of the country you want to work (south has generally better weather but costs of living can be higher in major cities, north often pays more but is colder, but it varies widely) and then find hospitals you'd be interested in working in. If you have a nursing specialty (ICU, neuro, oncology, etc.) then consider which hospitals even offer that as a specialty, as not all do. You can either apply to the hospital directly (not recommended) or you can apply through an *international* nursing agency. Look for ones willing to help you thoroughly with the process. 

My timeline for coming to the UK is roughly thus:

December-April 2018: basic UK research/making the decision to move

May-June-ish 2018: research/looking for job opportunities and travel agencies

June-July 2018: applying to nursing agencies and interviewing/sending resume and rough credentials (I knew I wanted to work at a specific hospital in Oxford so this made my search easier since I knew where to look). July, after pre-screening and interviews with the agency they passed my information on to the hospital recruiting team where I interviewed via Skype with the hospital I currently work at. I was offered a position a few days later and signed a preliminary contract of employment. Then, I took the CBT (if I had failed the CBT more than a few times or was unable to pass, my contract would be void). The CBT is a Computer Based Test regarding basic nursing competencies and can be taken at test centers around the US.

August 2018: gathering documents to send to UK Visas & Immigration to apply for my visa, as well as receiving Certificate of Sponsorship from the hospital I work for. My hospital also paid for my visa application ($780 I believe?) and the Immigration Health Surcharge fee (£200 per year of the visa, work visas are 3 years so £600). From what I understand most hospitals will pay these fees but will not pay for CBT ($120? I forget). Not all will pay, however, so be aware. Also be aware it can take months to get official fingerprinting documents (need to go through the FBI, not just state level, it must be national) and took forever to get my state's Board of Nursing and nursing school to fill out the documents and MAIL THEM over. No emails.

September 2018: visa applied for, documents sent, etc.

December 2018: I had an issue with my visa where they forgot/lost some documents and took about 2 months longer than the maximum wait time to get me my visa; it was originally planned to arrive October 2018. Visa arrived sometime December and I flew out at the end of December to start work January 6th. My hospital also paid for my one way ticket over.

January 2019: work start, hospital mandated training for OSCE, very minimal attendance in a clinical area until the end of training.

February 17 2019: pass OSCE, PIN received some days later, precepting for a few more days and then independent from there.

Edited by kaitfinder
grammar

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