Published Sep 19
I'm going to start my OSCE training officially next Monday, so I think it's probably a good time for me just to look back how far I go and write out a timeline here for future nurses who will come across the pond.
But before that I had to be honest. There was such a limited resource for us as in the States to go to England, most of them came for the opposite. The only "real" experience I could found was here the previous post.
I was already melancholy about leaving my home (for various reasons) and overwhelmed by application, finding a job, getting UK license...etc. at that time. Even though I never met you all, may not meet you all in the future as well, again really want to shout out a big thank you to anyone share their experiences. You guys were like the leading light in the dark. And I was saved and feeling stronger with those tiny sparkles.
Bit background about me:
I started as an international student here in the States, soon before graduate I found out that US government won't give nurses working visas (long story short, you can only get a work visa until the entry level in your field is bachelor's degree. And nursing is not. Soon before I left, our floor had 10+ travel nurses to come, lots of night we have only one staff nurse and he or she is still new, with rest of all the travel nurses. Sometimes there were lots of blocked beds.)
I'm not interested in obtaining a green card by marrying someone. That's when I decided to go to another English-speaking country. And finally, UK.
I don't have much preparation before I started my application.
I registered my NMC account and uploaded all the requiring materials, waiting my Ohio BON to respond.
Next day NMC said they received reply from BON that I'm ready to take next step. Booked CBT exam the same day.
My plan was to go to Brit in August, it's kind of early so I did nothing that month.
Sent out CVs to agencies, had some research about NHS hospital. Within days I got respond. I got a pre-interview with the agency. They asked about my experience then gave me a petite math quiz. Passed.
Received more pre-interviews with several agencies. Each agency connects to a trust (a group of hospitals within the same system)
They asked my preferences, ICU& London since I'm looking forward to a big city, then gave me some interview slots.
Same week had two interviews on Microsoft team. Got offer letters the next. One of them are my togo with two months of accommodation, three years contract and fees and tickets fees covered. One thing I had to mention is despite years of experience you have, you'll start with a fresh band 5. Okay fine. I accepted the offer right away.
Offer letter didn't update new nhs band 5 pay, so I had some argue with that, finally they realized with mistakes. Keep an eye on your pay.
Passed my CBT. It was one of the easiest nursing exams I have, prepared a bit but never the same as NCLEX. Though they just changed their guideline two years ago and there're few sample questions. I bought a book on amazon which helps a tiny bit. Then I had a 1000 questions bank. You should be fine with that, most of them are common sense. When I came out at that time the staff member told me I passed both. I was so shocked since the results came out so quick. Very straight forward.
Sent out bunch of materials:
NMC Status Screenshot
Police Certificate (home country)
Police Certificate (any other country you have lived/worked in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years) – Use FBI one since they'll ask you to have FBI one later.
Marriage Certificate (If you have!)
Nursing Degree Certificate
Professional Registration Certificate & Professional Registration License ID
Proof of Address
Vaccination Certificates / Covid Certificate – lots of blood tests but bearable
References for 3 years' worth of employment – kind of hard for me to ask my manager since I pretty new, decided to wait until May.
I made my mind and decided to talk to manager if they would provide my working visa here, but they said no. I told her about the plan. She said she's happy to write any references. I was sad but nothing I can do. Move on girl.
My agency didn't reply to me a lot this month which also makes me worried. She was out of office, them when she did come back, she said she'll look at my materials but never did.
It was June when she finally opened her inbox and said everything is cool, but you'll need an education reference as well because I was only a fresh nurse. The references had to cover three years of nursing experience which makes me very mad since it was summertime and my college closed last week. No one replied to my emails and my favorite professor retired. Finally I grabbed my undergraduate study in desperate and they said talk to the dean office. If you're also struggling with that try to search education reference on your edu web. My dean office got me back relatedly quick, for a week.
My agency told me that the girl I worked with recently left (which kind of making sense) and thank God! The new team is very efficient and helpful.
After I sent everything, they called my references to verify (a friend of mine, my manager and my school). Kinda surprised that they did call. My manager said "it's her new journey" after she said a lot of good things for me and the agency said "sorry to steal her from you.” Man, I cried hard.
Everything finally cleared in the end of June. My deployment date is at the beginning of September.
I was waiting for my COS until they said they won't send that until one and half month before because COS is only valid for a short period (which I forgot). They promised me to give me back in the mid of July which of course, not arrived on time. Bunch of back and forth. Finally got my COS July.31.
As per contract and COS, you'll work as a band four nurse, pass your OSCE then be a band 5 nurse. I resigned at that time, got so many warm hugs from my fellows. Went to VFS, they gave me a priority line and got my work visa. From February to August, finally. It was such a relieve for me. They booked my ticket the next day I sent my visa. I was worried again (yeah) bc four months after the offer letter I never talked to a hospital again, not a single email. I had all my communication through my agency. It seemed a bit fishy, or my future employer trust my agency a lot. Either way I had no choice now!
My agency picked me up at the airport then I arrived at my accommodation. They were very nice and helpful. Got an oyster card then I went to explore the city right away. London appears new to me, but familiar. When I went to a walk around the national gallery, with Shake Shack and M&M around, I was like: where I am, back home? OSCE team came to us the next day. We'll have two months of training not clinical wise then took the OSCE in October. And my official OSCE training starts on Monday. It's been a long long journey and I was kinda surprised that I'm here. I've been through a lot. Every blinks make me think about my past. I don't know where I'm gonna face but I have to go.
Keep y'all posted! Meanwhile feel free to ask me anything!
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