• 16 February 2021
  • 4 min read

How To Work As A Nurse In The UK (If You’re From Botswana)

  • Eva Komanyana
    Adult Nurse
    • Tshepang Eva Komanyana
    • Mat Martin
    • Gaone Mackenzie
  • 0
  • 762

Eva is a Nurse from Botswana and left to relocate to the UK 3 years ago. She explains exactly what you need to do if you want to work in the UK as a Nurse from Botswana.

"More than the monetary cost is the amount of anxiety and stress which can be overwhelming at times"

Healthcare workers across the globe often relocate in search of better work opportunities.

And so almost 3 years ago I decided to relocate from Botswana to the UK for work.

At the time the UK NMC required overseas (non-EU and non EEA) to have at least a 3 year Nursing diploma or higher and be registered with their local Nursing council for at least 2 years.

A few countries in Africa still have an enrolled Nurse role, unfortunately the UK still doesn't accept this qualification.

1) International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Once this is established the work then begins and it can be quite a tedious process as the UK NMC is quite thorough.

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The first step is to write an IELTS exam.

IELTS stands for 'International English Language Testing System'. It is an exam that seeks to ensure your knowledge of English will meet professional requirements.

This exam can be booked at test centres in different countries.

It’s done in a timely manner, spans over a period of 2 days and results are out within a week.

The minimum requirement is a band score of 6.5/10 in writing and 7/10 in three other categories:

• speaking

• listening

• reading

These results are valid for 2 years.

Once you pass your IELTS, you will need to complete a self-eligibility procedure on the UK NMC website and get allotted a case number.

2) Computer Based Test (CBT)

This is then followed by a Computer Based Test (CBT) which is basically UK Nursing theory.

It’s made up of 120 MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) to be completed in 4 hours and the minimum score is set at 72.

The CBT is also booked in one's home country. It should be completed within 6 months of the first attempt and can be repeated up to three times.

3) Form Filling For The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council)

The next step will be to upload a list of documents required by the NMC to support your application for registration.

These documents are:

• valid passport

• birth certificate

• qualification certificates

• proof of Nursing council registration in your home country

• police clearance from all countries you had lived in for more than 3 months

There are also a few forms to print and download from the UK NMC portal.

These are:

• completed form to accompany your transcript from your training college/University

• good health declaration from your GP or occupational health provider at your current workplace

• registration verification form from each country where you've practiced

All these forms must be fully completed, signed and stamped then couriered to the UK NMC.

Your Nursing application to the NMC will then begin the assessment process, lasting up to 60 days.

(Here's a link to the NMC's website.)

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4) Find A Good Recruitment Agency

At this point one can then liaise with a legitimate recruitment agency to secure an interview followed by a job offer.

I am convinced this is the easiest part of the process as the recruitment agency won't charge any fees and the interview process is relatively easy.

Your employer then begins the process to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship on your behalf from the UK Home Office.

This takes to 6 - 8weeks.

After assessing your application, the UK NMC will then invite you to the UK for a practical exam known as an OSCE. (Here's information on how to pass your OSCEs.)

This is an assessment of clinical skills as it simulates clinical scenarios one will eventually come across once registered.

It's also not too hard, the main thing is ensuring adherence to UK Nursing standards e.g there's an emphasis on consent and individualised / person centred care.

Most employers are willing to pay for flights, accommodation and the OSCE.

Upon arrival in the UK Nurses work at a lower pay scale as pre-registered Nurses until passing the OSCE and getting their names in the register (the NMC register).

How Long It Takes And How Much It Costs Moving To The UK As A Nurse From Botswana

This process is fairly demanding and doesn't usually adhere to set timelines.

It took me 11 months to complete the entire process.

Luckily I only repeated the OSCE once, and passed all the other tests at first attempts, so it's quite lengthy.

All exams have to be booked at a fee and there's travelling fees to be incurred as there's usually one or two test centres in most countries.

UK Home Office fees should also be considered. I spent just about £900 in the whole process.

And these fees obviously increase a bit overtime.

But much more than the monetary cost is the amount of anxiety and stress which can be overwhelming at times.

It helps being organised and having a list to refer back to.

For me personally, my recruitment agency was very supportive and clearly guided me through this process.

Also make sure to read the fine print in the job contract, a lot of employers have binding conditions as they sponsor your visa.

But it’s important to also remain aware of one’s reasons for relocation and avoid having unrealistic expectations.

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Ask Eva questions below

About the author

  • Eva Komanyana
    Adult Nurse

I'm an Adult Nurse with 9 years nursing experience including overseas experience in HIV \ AIDS management and Reproductive Health. Since relocation to the UK I've worked in elderly care and Haemato-oncology . I'm passionate about primary health care and am currently working towards attaining a role in primary health care.

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  • Eva Komanyana
    Adult Nurse

About the author

  • Eva Komanyana
    Adult Nurse

I'm an Adult Nurse with 9 years nursing experience including overseas experience in HIV \ AIDS management and Reproductive Health. Since relocation to the UK I've worked in elderly care and Haemato-oncology . I'm passionate about primary health care and am currently working towards attaining a role in primary health care.

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