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Which country is better to work in U.S. or U.K?

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jnurse816 jnurse816 (New) New

I am a surgical ICU nurse in the US at an university hospital and I love it, but wanted to venture outside of the country. My first option is the U.K. but after reading about nursing in the U.K., I have having second thoughts.

Does anyone have any preferences on which country is better to work for? To get my license there has been an annoying process, and wondering if it is all worth it.

Thank you.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Why the UK?

Why not head north? We sort of speak the same language

I really want to live in Europe and like that it would be relatively easy to visit near by countries.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Without an EU passport or the specialized training like a U.K your chances are slim.

Emergent, RN

Has 28 years experience.

Without an EU passport or the specialized training like a U.K your chances are slim.

UK is leaving th EU, remember?

Why do you say that? It should be based on me passing the test and my credentials rather than me not being from the U.K.

Emergent, RN

Has 28 years experience.

Why do you say that? It should be based on me passing the test and my credentials rather than me not being from the U.K.

No, you are not a British citizen, therefore you haven't the same rights to work in Great Britain.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Why do you say that? It should be based on me passing the test and my credentials rather than me not being from the U.K.

Any nation has the right to restrict who may move and/or work there.

The National Health Service is the main employer of nurses in the UK. Therefore priority rightly should be given to UK nationals.

I've heard from ex pats that UK nurses have more autonomy and a wider scope of practice, is that accurate?

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

I think it is more of a different scope. I find in Canada I need physician orders for everything where in the UK some stuff we didn't need orders we could just use our judgement and do it.

To the OP it all depends on what you want out of life. Having worked in Both UK and Canada I find pay and union support much better in Canada to the UK. Saying that I find the stress similar and the UK used more care workers in hospitals but there was less trained staff on the acute wards

Any nation has the right to restrict who may move and/or work there.

The National Health Service is the main employer of nurses in the UK. Therefore priority rightly should be given to UK nationals.

If that is the case, why bother allowing me to take the exam? Also, the registration process is different for me and others trained outside of the U.K. Which includes the exam. And from what I read, they are having an issue with keeping their nurses and that is why there is an influx of nurses from other countries such as the Filipinnes. So sure, they can restrict who they want, but it doesn't make sense that they would based on the fact that the exams an outsider would take is not the same as a person a U.K. Citizen would take and the fact that they allow us to take the exam and aknowledge they need help. Unless it's all a huge scam, but I have more faith in this nursing council than that.

And from what you're saying, during one of these exams, the proctors pick and chose who they want to pass based on if they want a national or not? That seems completely unethical and a waste of time. And In that case, if they find this person isn't a national (which they will because this process is only for non-nationals) why bother letting take the exam in the first place. Because of they didn't want someone from another country, this whole process and their job as a prototype wouldn't exist. And i could see possibly if a person got their license but could not get hired anywhere because of the fact they were foreign, but then again, that is also called discrimination.

I really appreciate the time you took to respond to my post, but I disagree with you.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Have you looked into the hoops nurses have to jump through to move to your country?

Your government is attempting to legislate Mexican and Canadian nurses out of jobs many have held for decades. You have a President who is saying America first and keep American jobs for Americans. The Phillipines won't even issue non-national the right to take their registration exam

Yet you seem to expect the rest of the world to put out the Welcome mat.

The process of getting licensure in the UK is a nightmare, but foreign nurses coming to the U.S. have to jump through hoops of fire too. Seems nursing bureaucracy everywhere pretty much sucks, but some suck a little more than others.

ANYWAY; not sure at this moment because of the Brexit, but as of last year foreign born nurses had to get a sponsor (from a hospital or whatever) to get a work VISA to work as a nurse in the UK. It isn't because Trump or the U.S. or the UK is anti-foreigner, it's because they want to make sure they aren't giving away jobs that would put British nurses out of work. Obviously, they want to make sure their own citizens are working before they bring in nurses from other countries. In years past there was a big problem with a surplus of British nurse graduates and they couldn't get a job and hospitals were still filling vacancies with scores of foreign workers, so they changed how they do things to try to prevent that. I think that's very reasonable; putting your own capable, qualified unemployed citizens to work before non citizens. What isn't reasonable is how difficult they make the whole process for foreign nurses to try to get licensure. And here's an unfortunate pearl: they could not care less if you pass, don't pass, can get a VISA, can't get a VISA: they make money off of licensure applicants. It's quite the racket. So, you yourself need to go over all the rules, regs, requirements and possible outcomes. And be aware that you can do everything they say to do but at the end of the day they can turn you down or fail you and it can be pretty subjective and it's expensive to retest/reapply. Lot's of money, and tremendous time and hassle; it's not their problem. Also, remember it is another country, if you are a non citizen they don't owe you anything just because you are a nurse and "want to go there." You probably know this, but I've heard more than a handful of nurses talk about how they'd love to travel Europe and then declare they are moving to England. You can't just move to England, unless you have British citizenship, you marry a Brit, or you have a job that makes you eligible for a work VISA (which is not permanent; it has to be renewed and there is a process, and if you lose your job you can't stay). Finally, if you aren't familiar, know that the pay for nurses (and NP's and doctors) in the UK is abhorrent compared to the pay in the U.S. It's socialized medicine so you are generally not going to live well on nurses pay there. You'll barely be able to rent a crappy flat. Some agency nurses in London or bigger cities might make the equivalent of 20-25 dollars an hour, but most nurses make between 11-15 bucks an hour, and generally housing is more expensive than here. England is awesome; a lot of great things about it, good people....don't get me wrong, but over the years that I lived there I knew a lot more nurses who worked doing jobs other than nursing than I knew nurses working in health care. There are reasons for that.

Edited by BedsideNurse
misunderstood previous post/changed response slightly

Stay in the US, best place on earth.

Hi, if you are wanting to work in the UK, first you will need to get registration via the NMC, see Trained outside the EU/EEA. This doesn't give you an automatic visa, but once you have your registration (or even before) contact some health authorities and agencies as there is plenty out there still giving visas to foreign nurses (and speaking English will help massively).

With regards to the person who said nurses were on 11-15 dollars an hour. I am looking at the same and agencies in the area I want to work are paying a minimum of 15 pounds per hour which it significantly more than you are claiming. Plus if you work in another country you need to stop converting the pay into your own currency - it isn't helpful. Look at what you can buy per hour in your own country/pay v's the new country/pay.

I'm a British Citizen living in Australia, did my nurse training in Australia and will still need to jump through hoops to get UK registration, including an English language test, even though I was born in England and speak no other language!! But it is time and I prefer the progression routes in the UK to here.

Anyway, good luck.

I do have a question, I have dual citizenship with USA and UK (by birth) I'm working on my BSN Degree now. Would would be required for me to go back to the UK and work as a nurse? Do I need some years of experience before doing so?

Hi Soutthpaw, see my link above for nurses trained outside the EU. You are in the same boat as me, you will need to pass the IELTS then sit the NMC test before being granted registration. At least you don't have visas to worry about. The NMC site says at least one year's experience would probably be needed to pass the test. I think this isn't mandatory but that they think newly qualified nurses won't have enough assessment experience to pass. Else, you could possibly contact UK universities regarding topping up your current BSN to a UK degree.

phoebe2020, BSN, RN

Specializes in Progressive Care. Has 8 years experience.

Don't do it. I'm British, but studied and worked in the USA. I tried to come back to my home country and I was subjected to English tests and expensive application fees. They've now just changed the system and you need about £4,000-5,000 to pay for the exams you need to take to qualify for a license. That's outside of visa fees, travel expenses, and other things you'll need to get set up in the UK.

I'm actually planning on coming back to the USA next year because my own country doesn't even care about my nursing degree that much. And I'm British. I miss nursing in the States so much, and I'm so excited to coming to the USA on a green card sponsorship next year!

If you want to find out what becoming a nurse in the UK involves, go to the NMC website. The pass rates for the new exams are low, because it seems to me they don't really know what they're doing at the moment...

Someone mentioned Brexit, and while that is true, it will take YEARS to establish new laws when it comes to nursing and foreign trained nurses and other various aspects of this one topic. I wouldn't count on Brexit making changes too soon.

I'm actually working in Australia as a nurse at the moment until I get my green card priority date. But anyway, I strongly recommend its not worth the grief and time and energy. It will most likely take over a year to get your license and it will even involve flying to the UK for a practical exam because they only do it one facility at the moment.

That's just my opinion.