Quote from newrn93
Coffee Nurse, BSN, RN Thankyou so much for your helpful insight. I'm having a hard time finding any existing agencies out there but will continue to research. I do have an aunt in the medical field who works in a big hospital in Germany, however I don't think she can do much about me trying to find a job in London. I will also look into O'Grady peyton. Am I allowed to apply directly to London based hospitals as a foreigner? Well I assume once I get my qualifications/UK license I won't necessarily be a foreigner but able to work staff positions. Because I do not know if I want to live in London indefinitely, I'm not sure if the staff route will be good for me. There is agency nursing in the UK however right? Where I can sign on for 3-6 months? I meant passport not visa btw, LOL.
I've heard that it is a long process, all I know is that you have to pass some kind of test, register with a board, and that you have to have your BSN? I will begin to look into that further.
Thankyou about your insight on ratios and unions, definitely good to know! I was talking about this to a coworker last night and a doctor overheard me. He chimed in and quickly said that healthcare in London is horrible, and that ambulances simply line up for blocks back and that's the detriment of "socialized healthcare." He claims that everything is delayed! Any insight to how their overall healthcare system differs from the states?
What I'm saying is that I don't think there are any agencies based on the American model of travel nursing (i.e. temporary assignments with full-time hours) left. I skimmed the O'Grady website this morning and they seem to be exclusively placing international nurses in the US nowadays, whereas previously they had been staffing in the UK and Australia as well. If that's the case, then your only option is to apply directly to permanent staff positions in hospitals.
Essentially, in order to be able to move to the UK and work, you need a visa. That could be non-work-related -- e.g. if you are married to a UK citizen -- but would more likely be finding an employer who is permitted by UK Visas and Immigration to sponsor you for a work visa. Most large hospitals are able to do so, but they are required -- at least as of now, pre-Brexit -- to prove that they cannot find any
other suitable candidate in the EU/European Economic Area who would be able to do the job they want to hire you for. There are nursing agencies, but they focus on filling shifts on a case-by-case basis for multiple hospitals, and do not sponsor foreign nurses for visas.
UK licensure and "foreigner" status are entirely separate issues. You could go through the whole UK licensing process and still not be able to move there and work if you are unable to find a hospital to sponsor you. And once there, you are still considered a "foreigner" until such time as you obtain citizenship (at least six years and thousands of pounds down the line from your initial arrival). This does not impact much on your day-to-day life, but there were times when I felt very much second class (being unable to fly back for my grandfather's funeral because my passport was away for visa renewal, for instance; or learning about the NHS surcharge that has been added to the list of visa fees just because double-charging immigrants is like shooting fish in a barrel).
The doctor you mentioned should learn what he's talking about before offering opinions. The quality of healthcare in London varies (as it does anywhere) but is generally top-notch in the good hospitals. There are no ambulances lining up for blocks, especially in London, where there are many hospitals with A&Es (ERs). It's true that elective procedures can take longer than in the US; on the other hand, if I wanted to transfer a baby back to a hospital that was ten minutes away from his parents as opposed to two hours, I didn't have to worry about whether it would be approved by the insurance company or not. Moreover, people are not bankrupted by an unexpected hospitalization the way they can be in the US.
Moving to London was one of the best decisions I've ever made; however, I'd think long and hard about starting the process these days. It is an insanely expensive thing to go through for the "privilege" of living in the UK. More importantly, I worry about the state of the NHS over the next 5-10 years, as its staffing shortfall is being exacerbated on several fronts -- they eliminated the bursary for student nurses a few years ago, leading to fewer people applying to nursing school; and the looming prospect of Brexit is driving experienced staff out in droves and putting others off coming to the country. There was an article in the Guardian recently about the thousands of beds across the country that are sitting empty because they cannot find enough people to staff them. Add this to an already strained system, especially in the winter (there is an annual winter bed crisis roughly coinciding with flu season), and I'm not sure how the NHS can continue much longer in its current form.