Can an American RN work in the UK?

  1. You always hear about nurses coming to the US from outside the country, but is it possible for US nurses to work in a UK hospital? Any information would be greatly appreciated. I know that I've seen a few posts from others in the US that would like to explore this.

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    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 758; Likes: 2
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  3. by   fergus51
    It is possible, but not in all areas from what I understand. I was told I couldn't work in the UK as a L&D nurse because they use midwives. I imagine you could get more info from their liscencing body or try going to and clicking on UK hospitals/
  4. by   2banurse
    Thanks Fergus, I was just curious. L&D would be my preference, so I guess I too would be shut out.

  5. by   fergus51
    You can work in a NICU though I think....
  6. by   lisamct
    2banurse, you could try asking the nmc (nursing & midwifery council) here in the UK
    they also have a discussion board so you can also ask other UK nurses, Im sure they'res some on there who are US nurses now in the UK.
    Fergus 51 is correct in that we dont have nurses working in L&D only midwives, Im not sure about nicu, I think it is mostly midwives as well but some hospitals may employ nurses in their units also.
    You could also try asking here
    Hope this is of some help,
  7. by   2banurse
    Hi Lisa, thanks for the information. I'll take a look at it.

  8. by   Kaylesh
    Yes a US nurse can work in the UK.. I am a Massachusetts RN and have been working in Scotland since 1999. I originally got the job via a agency that was based over here in the UK. I got the agency info via the net.. The agency helped me with getting my work permit(which the employer has to sponser). and with getting registered with the governing body over here the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
    You can not just come over here and work as you have to have proof of a sponsered work permit from the hospital/clinic/practise that has hired you.
    I am on my second work permit here as i decided i wanted to change jobs.. I had to make sure that the new employer had the work permit all sorted before i left the old job..
    Once you have been here for four years (on a continous work permit) you can apply to the Home Office(the folks that deal with work permits and all other forms of immagration and that kind of thing) and get what is called Indefinate leave to remain,At that point you do not need a work permit and can change jobs at your own desire.
    Hope that answers a few questions any others please feel free to ask.
  9. by   Taryn
    This is specifically for Kaylesh although I would appreciate helpful input from anyone. I am very interested in working in the U.K. How do I go about this? My specialty area has been cardiac cath.
  10. by   Kaylesh
    I think the easiest way is for you to do a web search on Nursing Agencies in the UK. Email some of them and find out what they offer as far as services.
    Nurses are in demand over here in the UK as they are in the US.If you are in a speciality area even more so,as you said you currently are in cardiac caths.
    The agency i used I don't know if it even exists anymore but it was called Contechs Healthcare Recruiting and was based somewhere down in England.
    Think about where in the UK you would like to live as things vary from England to Scotland as far as pay,cost of living,housing and rental market etc...
    The other way to go about it is to do a search on hospitals in the area you are interested in moving to and contact the hosptials themselves be prepared .. many of the smaller hosptials will probably not be willing to deal with getting the work permit for you. Which as i said in the previous post you have to have before being allowed to work here. The larger hospitals will also have more positions to offer and are more likely to be in the larger areas where there would be more available as far as shopping,rental/housing market,etc..
    Another thing to be aware of.. The pay here is really really horrible compared with what you will be used to in the US..
    Keep all these things in mind..
    Saying that I still do love it here in Scotland and wouldn't change what I did almost four years ago to work here .:-)
    Any questions please feel free to email me..
  11. by   Flora
    What made you decide to go to Scotland? If the pay is bad, why do you stay? What is it like there?
  12. by   Kaylesh
    What made me decide to come here to Scotland from Massachusetts .. well thats a bit of a story... :-) My gran,who died a bit over 5 years ago was born here in Scotland moved to the US as a young person and brought all of us(her children and grandchildren) to be VERY proud of the Scots heritage.
    I had traveled to different parts of Scotland on holidays and in 1999 decided to make the huge commitment of trying out what it would be like to work and live here.
    As I've said in previous posts. I knew that the nursing shortage is pretty universal.. and that nursing is on what they call the short list of occupations here for obtaining a work permt(which basically means that your employer can get one pretty quickly,about a month.)
    I've always loved it here and decided to put up with the low pay as the pace of life and people here are fantastic.
    The weather isn't always the best.. it does tend to be rainy,whats why its soooo green :-). It never gets brutally cold,least not like in winters in Mass. Never get much snow.. of course it also never gets as warm either...
    Now adays.. i've also got me a scotsman that is pretty important to me hehe.. so that is a another reason to stay..
  13. by   Taryn
    Thanks much for taking time to share information with me. Could you supply me with information regarding facilities in Scotland? I also have roots there but mine are several generations back. Any European destination would be considered, I was looking at London because it seems an easier goal and that would at least get me over there.
    Like you, I feel income is not the be all and end all. There are too many other factors to consider and money falls far down the list somewhere. Can I expect to earn enough to live on or would a second job be required?
    Again, thanks so much for your help.

  14. by   Kaylesh
    Hiya Taryn,
    Like the US the facilities vary from area to area.. Smaller towns have smaller hospitals. The larger areas nearer the large towns and citites have larger hospitals and teaching hospitals as well. And each varies accordinly as to the facilities and areas of nursing that they have.
    In Aberdeen,
    Where I was untill October 02. is the major trauma teaching hospital for the NorthEast of Scotland. It was HUGE.. they did everything.. The grounds of the complex included the main adult hospital which was the mega huge one.. a maternity hospital.. and not far away( a few miles a psych hospital)..
    Where I live now is commuting distance to Edinburgh where there are tons and tons of hospitals varying from the small to the huge including ones that do transplant surgery.. there is even a hospital in the town I live in.
    Yes you can earn enough to live on depending on where you decide to live. Part of my problem is Im still paying off debt from when i was younger and more foolish in the states, if i wasn't paying that it would make things much easier.