Canadian RN to UK -- how's the situation?

World International


Specializes in Acute respiratory, med/surg, geriatrics.

Hello, lovely UK nurses!

I've been reading the boards all afternoon, trying to get information about overseas nursing. There have been a lot of threads which have addressed my questions (especially the ones answered by Silverdragon102), but the average dates on the threads have ranged between 2002-2008.

So I'm here to ask for an update on the current nursing situation in the UK, specifically in England and Ireland. How is the job environment there? Is it still difficult to find a job as an overseas RGN?

Thank you in advance for your comments.

Read some of the UK newspapers on line. Hospitals over there are short staffed, underfunded and not hiring, just like here.

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Still have to find a employer willing to go the work permit route and generally you need a job on the shortage occupation list. Unemployment is still high in the UK (family tell me) and I do know immigration is capping similar to the Canadian government on how many skilled workers they will accept

Specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

Not much of a chance of getting a job in Ireland. Friends from home are being let go after 4 years with a hospital. Wards closing. New grads going to England to look for jobs. Back to the dark old days of the 60's for nursing in Ireland.

Irish more likely to get a job in England as half of them can claim an English connection of some sort (incl. me I was born and brought up there) so that puts you further up the list. The UK has to employ its own staff first, then EU then rest of the world. Any wonder I'm staying in Oz till the GFC settles down in Ireland.

Ireland was hit HARD by it and it will take years to recover. Don't think we will get back to the heady Celtic Tiger days but would be nice not to hear of all my friends scattering around the globe to find work, or stuck at home with young families and on the dole. :(

Specializes in Acute respiratory, med/surg, geriatrics.

Thank you for all of the replies and insight. Karenmaire, I am sorry to hear about the situation your Irish friends are facing.

I have British citizenship by descent, so I am wondering if, because of that status, I would have a bit of an easier time getting work in England. I would be able to bypass the need for a sponsor/work visa.

Silverdragon has mentioned that unemployment in the UK is high, so the question now becomes this:

Do you think my chances would be hurt by having only Canadian experience? I am currently a LPN/LVN/RPN who is bridging to get my BScN, which I will have in 2012. By that time, I will have had 3 years of LPN experience, and intend to work as a RN for one year before attempting to work in the UK.

Specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery.

If you do all you describe you will fit the criteria for UK registration, if your a UK citizen once registered you can apply for work along with all the other UK nurses. There are jobs, just not many so you'll take your chances with everyone else. There are wards closing and the government is cutting the NHS funding in am attempt to clear the national debt. It's not a good place to be at the moment.

OK, another year on.... I graduate in Dec 2011, am a British citizen, hence I dont have any work visa issues. I currently live\study in the states with my American husband. It would be nice to be able to work in a nice area of England after I graduate. (I am from Northampton... ug!). Or elsewhere in Europe (Poland?)

1. How would I start to even look for a job? Can I just apply to the NHS? Are agencies better?

2. Is there any difference in nursing in the UK to the US? Is a UK staff nurse an US RN?

3. Do I have to take the UK version of the NCLEX, if so what is it? How do I take it?

What about Canada? Any chance there?


Specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery.

IF you've trained in the US you will need to make sure you meet the NMC criteria for registration as an overseas nurse.

once they have confirmed you do, and you have completed their paperwork requirements and paid the fees you will need to undertake an Overseas Nurses Program at one of the recognised universities. Once you've completed all of that and are registered you'll be able to throw your hat in the ring with all of the other newly qualified nurses in the UK

One of the stipulations of the NMC is 1 year post registration experience so if your a new grad you may find that is a sticking point.

Please keep us posted

Many thanks for the info!

Specializes in adult nursing.

This has been so helpful! I am a nursing student right now, about to finish my fourth year. I wanted to do my integrated practicum in the UK but things simply didn't work out. I was really hoping that I could write my CRNE this June then start packing for a new job in a new country! I realize now that was unrealistic but thanks to everyone including the postee, I was able to get some basic info and search the NMC website.

Thanks again!

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