• 20 May 2021
  • 10 min read

How To Find Work As A Nurse In The UK If You Are From Nigeria

  • Chinenye Eze
    Staff Nurse, Elderly Care
    • Mat Martin
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Abigail Isek
  • 2
  • 665
"I wanted to explore my nursing career, to travel out of my country and pursue a specialty"

I arrived from Nigeria to work as a nurse in 2020. I would like this article to serve as a lamp for other nurses in Nigeria who would like to apply to work as a nurse in the UK.

Topics Covered In This Article

Follow In My Footsteps

Apply For An International Passport

IELTS / OET Tests

Open An Account With The NMC

Verify Your Nursing Qualifications With The NMCN

Computer-Based Test (CBT)

Upload Documents To NMC

Pay NMC Registration Fee

Find A Job

Build Your Nursing CV

Offer Letter

Medical Screening

Police Clearance Certificate

Certificate Of Sponsorship (COS)

Visa

OSCE

Total Cost = 470,000 Naira

Follow In My Footsteps

It is the desire of a handful of nurses to pursue their dreams regardless of boundaries or borders.

My desire to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to work as a qualified nurse was ignited in February 2019.

I wanted to explore my nursing career, to travel out of my country and pursue a specialty, I had asked a few friends who were already in the UK and I made an extensive online research, I discovered that not many nurses had shared their pathways into the UK, I decided there and then that if I succeeded with my pursuit I will serve as a lamp for other nurses who are willing to thread this path.

Now let us go into the various steps…

Apply For An International Passport

The first step is to apply for an international passport from the Nigerian Immigration Service.

I did one for 30,000 in 2019.

You will need it to register for IELTS. It takes between 24hrs- a few weeks or even months depending on your circumstance.

IELTS / OET Tests

IELTS stands for International English Language testing System.

It is a test of English exam that needs to be written and the required score gotten.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) IELTS requirement is overall score of 7, of which writing can be 6.5, the exam can be booked with IDP or British Council.

NMC accepts IELTS academic which you use for both your NMC registration and visa purpose. It currently costs between 75,000 – 80,000 Naira.

Results comes out in 14 days after the exam.

It has four parts:

● Listening

● Reading

● Writing

● Speaking

There are various practice materials to read in order to pass it.

Another English examination that can be written is the OET which stands for Occupational English Test.

It is currently about 150,000 Naira. The minimum required score is Reading -B, Writing -C+, Listening -B and Speaking-B.

Open An Account With The NMC

After passing your English exam you need to go to the NMC website and set up an account, you will be required to complete the eligibility and qualification application.

You will then need to pay an evaluation fee of £140.

Verify Your Nursing Qualifications With The NMCN

You will then need to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) for verification of your nursing qualification certificate and license, this currently costs 17,500 Naira.

The required documents to send are Notification/Certificate, letter requesting for verification and good standing, license (you therefore must ensure your license is up to date), remember to include your CRM which can be found on your NMC portal, birth certificate.

It takes weeks and months for some to be verified, mine took three months.

Computer-Based Test (CBT)

After you have been verified you will be sent an authorization to take your CBT. Your CBT is done through Pearson Vue.

The exam cost £83. The examination is based on UK general nursing theory, 120 MCQ and is written in home country.

The result is valid for two years.

You have a maximum of three attempts after which that application will be closed, and you can open a new one.

The result comes out within 48 hours.

Upload Documents To NMC

After passing the CBT, go to your NMC portal and upload your documents such as police clearance certificate, nursing certificate, IELTS/OET results, name and details of medical regulator (that is a medical doctor of your choice).

Pay NMC Registration Fee

Pay the NMC registration fee of £153 Pounds, this used to be paid after passing OSCE in the UK but now paid whilst in Nigeria.

After paying this the NMC sends a mail to your medical doctor/regulator for your health declaration, so you have to inform your doctor beforehand.

NMC will also ask for your good standing from NMCN and as soon as response is gotten it is updated on your portal.

It is therefore important to always check your portal to monitor your progress.

Find A Job

Immediately after passing your IELTS / OET and CBT you can start searching for a job.

Luckily, you don't need to go far: Nurses.co.uk is a market leader when it comes to the number and choice of nursing jobs in the UK!

NHS Jobs

You can apply to NHS jobs right here on Nurses.co.uk – browse by employer to find NHS Trusts.

The NHS is the state run healthcare system in the UK. It employs over 300,000 full time nurses (almost half the total of 670,000 registered UK nurses!).

It employs a total of 1.3 million staff and is Europe’s biggest employer and the world’s 11th largest employer! (There are more healthcare facts and stats here.)

Private Hospital or Care Homes

Outside of the NHS you can choose to work in private healthcare nursing, as a care home nurse, or home care.

Nursing & Care Jobs at Nurses.co.uk

Progress Your Career. Search 1000s of Nursing & Care Jobs

Search Jobs

According to official figures there are over 15,000 care homes in the UK, over 11,000 home care agencies and over 500 private hospitals.

Build Your Nursing CV

Your choice of work setting is dependent on many factors and it’s important you choose wisely as everyone’s preference is different.

When you apply for a job you will be asked to submit your Curriculum Vitae.

You can build your CV right here on Nurses.co.uk using their clever CV builder – join to get started building your nursing CV here.

There’s also a CV guide here on Nurses.co.uk, explaining what you will need to write about in your CV.

You will usually need one or two documents like IELTS, CBT results, Passport etc. Keep them handy during your applications.

Remember to research on the area before making a choice, as there is variable cost of living per area.

You will have an online interview (remember to smile). I failed my first interview because I was not smiling.

Here’s some great nursing interview questions tips.

As soon as you pass your interview you will be asked to sign an offer letter.

Offer Letter

This usually takes a day or some days after interview to be out.

Remember to have enough information about the hospital and location, and what the relocation package is before signing the offer letter.

The offer letter comes with the relocation package, your employer may cover your flight fees, visa fees, medical screening fees, IELTS / OET, CBT exam fees, COS fees, accommodation, OSCE fees.

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Remember your employer may pay for any of these or all of these.

It depends on what your offer letter says, while some employers will allow you pay for these and reimburse you on arrival, it all depends, remember to ask all questions regarding this before signing.

Some employers only pay for COS and you have to self-sponsor.

Your offer letter states your salary and what band you are starting with.

Some employers consider your years of experience in Nigeria (I did not benefit from this though).

Your employer may start you as a band 3 or band 4 nurse, after passing OSCE you become band 5.

I started as a band 3 nurse before passing OSCE.

Medical Screening

The United Kingdom require you to have a negative Tuberculosis (TB) results which is valid for 6 months before entering into the UK.

This costs 57,800 naira, the result comes out within hours, remember not to do it too early until you are sure of your start date, do not be like me - I had to do it twice!

Police Clearance Certificate

This is to certify that you have no criminal record, it costs between 3,000-15,000 Naira depending on your location.

It has a 3-month validity.

Certificate Of Sponsorship (COS)

This is needed to show that you have a sponsor, you therefore do not need any bank statements to apply for visa.

In order to apply for a COS your employer will require some documents from you such as: police clearance certificate, TB certificate etc.

If you have a spouse and/or children remember to inform your employer to have your COS cover your dependents (spouse and children).

Your COS has your start date on it.

It usually takes 1-6 weeks depending on the circumstance.

Visa

After receiving your COS, you book for your tier 2 visa biometric appointment, it usually takes three weeks for the decision to be out, all things being equal.

The TLS centres in Lagos and Abuja oversee this.

OSCE

After arriving to the UK your employer will book you for OSCE and OSCE training sessions.

You then become a band 5 nurse after passing OSCE (watch the Nurses.co.uk video on how to pass your OSCEs).

Total Cost = 470,000 Naira

Overall, it took me 14 months after passing my IELTS to achieve my UK dream, this was because the first wave of COVID happened in 2020 and we all had to wait.

I spent 470,000 Naira in total but remember you do not spend it at once it is paid at different stages.

This amount could vary according to individual circumstance.

My employer paid my flight fees, visa fees, OSCE, 1month accommodation, airport taxi transfer to the accommodation and OSCE Training.

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Do you have any questions for Chinenye?

Ask questions about becoming a nurse below

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About the author

  • Chinenye Eze
    Staff Nurse, Elderly Care

I came to the UK Nov 3rd 2020, having passed my OSCE in Feb. I have 6 years Nursing work experience back home in Nigeria. I've worked in General Medical, Surgical Wards as well as an Immunisation Clinic. I want to pursue a specialty career in the UK. I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-ife in Nigeria 2014. I have always had a passion to use writing to share ideas that have worked for me in order to help someone else. I am a very caring, humble, hardworking and compassionate nurse.

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  • Chinenye Eze
    Staff Nurse, Elderly Care

About the author

  • Chinenye Eze
    Staff Nurse, Elderly Care

I came to the UK Nov 3rd 2020, having passed my OSCE in Feb. I have 6 years Nursing work experience back home in Nigeria. I've worked in General Medical, Surgical Wards as well as an Immunisation Clinic. I want to pursue a specialty career in the UK. I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-ife in Nigeria 2014. I have always had a passion to use writing to share ideas that have worked for me in order to help someone else. I am a very caring, humble, hardworking and compassionate nurse.

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    • Elizabth Olaide 13 days ago
      Elizabth Olaide
    • Elizabth Olaide
      13 days ago

      Thank you for the information,in a case whereby I have Cameron certificate B.sc degree in nursing,but from Nigeria what are ... read more

    • Abigail Isek 24 days ago
      Abigail Isek
    • Abigail Isek
      24 days ago

      Hello chinenye, thanks for sharing your experience. Please for someone who has no health background and wants to become a ... read more