US NP Seeking Licensure in UK

World UK


Hello All,

Looking for insight into my current situation.

I am a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner in the U.S. with a Master of Science in Nursing, and a little > 1 yr of experience working in Cardiology (as an NP). Prior to this, I worked as a Critical Care nurse (RN, BSN) for 3 years. As of four months ago, I relocated to Lakenheath RAFB with my husband to the U.K., (husband is active duty Air Force).

Unfortunately, there are no open positions on base for Nurse Practitioners. Thus, I have researched and somewhat understand the process of transferring my US nursing license to the UK after reviewing the NMC site: Trained outside the EU/EEA, yet, have a few remaining questions. Are there particular recommended study prep courses for the U.K. nursing boards or Nurse Practitioner boards? If so, which ones (I used Kaplan prep in the U.S. for my BSN, and the Fitzgerald Review/Leik Book/APEA questions for my Family Nurse Practitioner boards)?

Additionally, once I have attained my RN licensure with NMC, I am seeking clarification on how to proceed with transferring my U.S. NP licensure to the U.K.. What are some of the things I would have to do there to get certified to work there as a Nurse Practitioner? Would I need to go back to school at all? Or resit my boards?

Please, any and all insight is appreciated! TIA :)


Specializes in Critical care.
I agree, but we seem to have a living, breathing example.

Im starting to wonder if they're trolling.

Hey guys, if you really want to upset the troll. US educated ADNs are being found to have the equivalent education of LPNs in Canada. Let's hope they stay south of the 40th parallel in their dream world.

Specializes in PHCNP.

@jglase570 I just stumbled on this thread and wonder if you have any new information with your NP licensing transfer?! I'm currently registered as an NP in Canada and in the process of transferring over the UK and just wondering where I should even start when applying for jobs, esp. with my advanced practice experience.

Specializes in ER.

NP is not a qualification that can be transferred across countries, in the same way that RN can.

Both the training and the role are different.

I was an NP in the UK, but it was not recognized when i moved to the US, so now i am back working as an Rn.

Same thing moving the other direction!

Specializes in ER.

And an FYI, most of the AFB Lakenheath wives just go to work at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge.

As RNs.

On something like $20 an hour.

Which means looking after patients, not supervising others doing it. That's why most people go into nursing.

Interesting how this thread has evolved, we were just having a very similar conversation here in Illinois, where the overseas nurses work as nurses, and the American ones like to sit and chat and supervise rather than actually touch a patient!!

US hospitals would fall apart if it wasn't for the foreign nurses working there.

Specializes in NP.

@jglase570 - hey hope you are well - I am currently in the same process as you - but transferring the NP degree is the most confusing part - are you able to give me insight and what the process was for you?

Specializes in PHCNP.
rizwanapatel said:

@jglase570 - hey hope you are well - I am currently in the same process as you - but transferring the NP degree is the most confusing part - are you able to give me insight and what the process was for you?

Are you hoping to transfer from the US to the UK @rizwanapatel? Let me know if you need any insight, etc. I ended up getting an Advanced Nurse Practitioner role in Oncology as an internationally trained/educated NP here in London and can help if have any questions. 

Specializes in NP.

@canadian.j - yes - hoping to transfer from the US - already practice as an NP here in the US - and I have moved to London - started NMC registration - just waiting for them to give me a pin. and that would be so helpful- what did you have to do when you got your PIN from NMC?

Specializes in PHCNP.

@rizwanapatel - So in the UK, the ANP role isn't standardised like it is in the US/Canada where we pass the board exam and then go on to practice once you have your qualification. To be considered an ANP here, you need to have your physical assessment and diagnosing course (which you have) and a prescribing course. The one issue is that unfortunately the NMC doesn't recognise our international qualification for prescribing (they call it Non-Medical Prescribing here) as it has to one of their approved uni programs. So the only way to get around this is to do one of the approved Non-Medical Prescribing courses which is 6-9 months in length. Many Trusts can hire you as a 'Trainee' ANP while you complete this and it is often easier if the Trust is affiliated with a university as if you go to apply directly to the uni, then they often want you to have 1 year experience as a Band 6 nurse in the UK.

This is how it was when I transferred over 3 years ago so things may have changed. Might be worth it to have a conversation with the NMC. I know that HEE is trying to standardise the advanced practice role and will probably lead to requiring a Masters to pursue ANP roles here however as of now, it is widely Trust dependent. Unfortunately I had to work my way up from a Band 5 to a 8a but my progression was quite quick. I don't regret it as it was more important for me to get into a Trust that I wanted to work in rather than waiting for a NP job to come up. Best to find a Trust that you are interested in working for and approach their HR/clinical education team (many have an advanced practice lead) to see what their ACP pathways include and if opportunities are available to support you.

You also may want to consider getting a UK ENIC review of your qualifications as it adds leverage to demonstrate that your NP university modules/degree from the US is equivalent to those in the UK.

Sorry for the length, hopefully it's helpful! 

Specializes in NP.

@canadian.j - this is all so helpful!! do you know where I can begin the search of a traniee APN - aha and do you recommend NHS vs Private? also after your received your PIN from NMC - did you just submit all of the masters program transcripts to them - or I guess my question is what allows an employer to know you are an APN?

Specializes in PHCNP.

@rizwanapatel - easiest to figure out what Trusts are near where you're living and/or if there's a specific specialty you want to pursue. Then either approach them through their HR department and request to speak to their ACP lead or even just go on NHS jobs and see what is available and start reaching out to potential employers that way. 

After I got my PIN, I was still trying to navigate how to even pursue an ANP role in London LOL literally took me a really long time cause I don't think many people do it as internationally qualified so it was all me trying to figure out who to talk to, etc. Don't worry about submitting transcripts etc to NMC as they won't accept them as there is not a specific designation for ANPs - all nurses who are practicing as ANPs in the UK are registered as general nurses and they have the additional non-medical prescribing course and that's all that appears on the NMC website. I had to provide a copy of my degree to HR when I applied for my current role and I always include my copy of my UK ENIC to demonstrate that the degree I have in Canada is equivalent to the one's here in the UK. I believe I had references as well so they verify information with previous Managers etc. 

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health.
Nrsing101 said:

 Most notable difference is lack of autonomy in the UK. Nurses there are more overworked .. you have to wash the patient, change nappies without masks for god's sake, and clean the room. plus SERVE TEA. I was like a servant or barista.


My limited experience of US trained nurses was that they were used to needing a doctor's order to do anything, whereas when I worked in the UK, we did a lot off our own initiative, so I'm perplexed as to your claim about lack of autonomy.

I am disturbed that you think it's beneath you to serve a hot drink to a patient. The "cuppa" was a cure all in the UK, just as now where I work in France, a chat with an upset patient over a Tisane does far more good than just slinging them a Xanax and expecting them to get on with it.

You'll probably be horrified but I had a Charge Nurse post in an old UK hospital where the clanking metal meal trolley got trundled up to the ward and we nurses served the meals. We also collected the trays in. The utility of that? Special diets were seen to, portion control was under the nurses' control, dietary supplements were distributed, and we knew EXACTLY who had eaten and drunk what. In hospitals where this is left to domestic staff you often find trays dumped in front of patients unable to feed themselves, entire untouched meals collected in with no feedback as to who has or hasn't eaten what. Malnourished and dehydrated patients who these days get TPN slung up out like it's going out of fashion while back then nurses were capable of ensuring adequate hydration and nutrition. I guess that's beneath you too? Oh but I'm sure you're very good at siting an IV? FYI so am I, but I'll NEVER be too important to get a patient a drink.

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