• 30 April 2020
  • 3 min read

How easy is it for nurses from Australia to get jobs in the UK?

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder
"The patient to Nurse ratio is almost twice as big in the UK compared to Australia – meaning there’s a far bigger demand in the UK for your skillset."

Are you a nurse considering a move to the UK? Here are some key points to consider when relocating your nursing career from Australia.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

How do you obtain a visa?

What are the costs?

And how easy is it to find a job?

Introduction

Australian Nurses coming to work in the UK is a well-worn route.

The Australian healthcare system and the NHS are two of the very best in the world, and share many similarities.

Meanwhile, the patient to Nurse ratio is almost twice as big in the UK compared to Australia – meaning there’s a far bigger demand in the UK for your skillset.

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So, for Australian Nurses fancying a secondment to Britain, it would seem the perfect time and opportunity.

But in reality, how easy is it to make the switch?

How do you obtain a visa?

For the most part, working in the UK as an Australian Nurse is straightforward.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has been reviewing the application process for Australian Nurses over recent years, with the aim of making it easier.

Nurse shortages in the UK, which have been exacerbated as a result of Brexit, have put the need for more Australian Nurses into sharper focus.

Of course, to start with you’ll need to be a Registered Nurse in Australia.

Assuming that’s the case, you’ll then need to register with the NMC’s Overseas Nursing Programme.

And to do that, you’ll need to complete two tests: one in Australia and one in the UK.

The Australian-based test is called a CBT and is taken online.

It’s pretty simple – in 2019 the pass rate was around 93%. It requires some preparation, but nothing too taxing.

Then, once you’ve arrived in the UK, you’ll need to complete the OSCE exam at an approved test centre.

This requires a bit more preparation – but the pass rate is still high, currently around 93%.

Once completed, you can become NMC registered and obtain a visa.

The type of visa will depend on whether you’ve already found a job or not – but either type is currently very simple to obtain

What are the costs?

Aside from flights and initial accommodation, there are some costs associated with the exams and the visa.

However, such is the demand for more UK Nurses that many recruiters, employers and NHS Trusts offer relocation packages and cover many of the registration costs.

Better still, these agencies and employers will often provide end-to-end support until you’ve actually started working.

This can include preparing you for the exams, finding you accommodation and covering your exam costs.

Ultimately, with unprecedented nursing vacancy rates in the UK, as a qualified Nurse, you hold all the cards and will get all the support you need.

And how easy is it to find a job?

To put it simply, very easy.

There are various routes to take, and the most obvious one will be to apply through agencies in Australia that specialise in overseas opportunities.

But UK-based platforms, agencies and employers are eager to speak to you too.

Platforms like our very own at nurses.co.uk have all kinds of opportunities at the ready.

Just register your account and we can send you the best and most relevant that come up. Good luck!

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk in 2008. I’m interested in providing a platform that gives a voice to nurses and those working in care and nursing. I'm fascinated by the career choices we make. In the case of those working in care I've discovered that there's a positive, life-affirming common theme: they do it for love not money.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk in 2008. I’m interested in providing a platform that gives a voice to nurses and those working in care and nursing. I'm fascinated by the career choices we make. In the case of those working in care I've discovered that there's a positive, life-affirming common theme: they do it for love not money.