• 15 February 2021
  • 13 min read

How To Work In The Middle East As A UK Nurse

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 912
Play video: "For me personally, I do see a massive difference in my salary than I would have been getting if I was still at home in the UK"

UK Nurses are in high demand in the Middle East. Here's how to move to the Middle East from the UK and get work as a Nurse - by someone who's done it.

Topics Covered In This Video

The Covid 19 Pandemic Has Made Moving To The Middle East As A Nurse Take Longer

What You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Start Planning

Professional Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Requirements: Qualifications And Experience

How Much Will A UK Nurse Get Paid Working In The Middle East?

What Are The Similarities And Differences To Expect Working As A UK Nurse In The Middle East?

What Visa Do I Need To Work In The Middle East As A UK Nurse?

What Else You Might Need To Consider Before Moving Abroad

How Much Will It Cost Me To Move And Work In The Middle East As A Nurse?

Hi guys. My name is Nicola and I'm a Neonatal Nurse currently working in the Middle East.

Today I'm gonna be giving you some general tips and advice to assist you with making the move to the Middle East.

The Covid 19 Pandemic Has Made Moving To The Middle East As A Nurse Take Longer

UK Nurses are highly sought after.

However, you may find that due to the nature of the pandemic at the moment that the job vacancies are not as available as what they were in the past.

So what I would say to you first and foremost is to be patient, because where in the past an application may have only taken six months to a year, it is very possible that now it could take a little bit longer.

Nursing & Care Jobs at Nurses.co.uk

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

Search Jobs

But that doesn't mean that UK Nurses aren't sought after or that you can't get a job.

Speak with HR at the different hospitals that you are interested in working in. Even better if you can get a contact from a manager.

Formulate your CV (we make it easy to do that here on Nurses.co.uk).

Submit it to the different agencies that are readily available to you.

And that will mean that when the job vacancies are put out you are right at the forefront of people's minds.

What You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Start Planning

There are so many different things that you need to consider before working abroad both personally and professionally.

From a personal point of view that's gonna vary from person to person.

• Have you got children?

• Are you married?

• Do you have a mortgage?

• Are you in the middle of a long-term renting contract?

• And if you are, are you able to break that contract?

• Do you have any financial responsibilities or commitments out here in the UK that will enable you to still be able to move abroad?

• You need to consider what country are you gonna go to?

• What are the rules, the regulations of that country?

• What is the language?

• What is the weather like?

• How far away is it from your family?

• Are you able to get home quick enough in an emergency should you need to?

• Are you planning on going alone?

There are so many different personal things that you need to think about.

But the most important thing that you should do is research.

Research, research, research because you can never know enough.

Professional Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

• Professionally you need to consider, how many years have I been a Nurse?

• Have I got enough experience?

• Are you in the middle of any courses?

• And if you are, when you break that contract with your employer, what are the repercussions for that?

• Do you have any sort of qualifications that would make you stand out in comparison to other Nurses?

• Or do you think that maybe you need to spend the next couple of years dedicating your career to some courses, getting some more experience behind yourself before you apply to the Middle East?

These are just a few of the things that you need to consider.

Requirements: Qualifications And Experience

Regardless of your speciality you will need to have a Nursing degree.

Most countries require you to have some Nursing experience. And as a general rule of thumb, it's normally about two years.

For specific specialities like neonates for example, the requirements can even be as much as three to four years.

Some hospitals will require you to have specific experience working in tertiary centers.

Some places will want you to have additional qualifications.

So for example, if you're working in neonates normally the expectation is that you will have your neonatal QIS course.

So it will vary from job to job, and depending on the speciality that you are working in.

But generally as, you know a general rule of thumb you need to at least have a couple of years experience and your Nursing degree behind you.

Another thing actually, to also consider is that, in the UK we train within a specialism.

So pediatric, adults, mental health Nurses.

However, in the Middle East you are just a registered Nurse or a general Nurse.

And so you will be expected to complete an examination prior to moving out there.

And that examination is a general Nurse exam. And it covers adult, mental health and pediatric.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Do you have any questions for Nicola?

Ask Nicola questions in the comments below

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

So for those of us obviously, who have no adult training no mental health training these exams can be quite difficult.

So again, you need to find out what other exams and qualifications will you be required to obtain.

And is it something that is achievable within the time-frame that you, that is gonna be given to you?

I know that when I had to move abroad, I had to complete an exam called the Prometrics exam. And that was a general Nurse exam.

There was a minimum amount that you had to get.

You had to cover the costs.

And there was only a certain amount of tries that you got. And it was quite difficult because I'm a pediatric Nurse by background. And I have never looked after an adult patient in my life.

So these are some other things that you need to consider, is that when you do go and apply for these jobs is very good idea - it's a very good idea to ask them is my qualification recognized?

Do you recognize my qualification as a pediatric Nurse?

And if they don't, what additional exams are you gonna have to do?

So, or what additional qualifications are you gonna have to obtain so that you can prepare yourself for that accordingly.

How Much Will A UK Nurse Get Paid Working In The Middle East?

This is the question that I always get asked whenever I tell people that I'm working abroad.

Specifically in the Middle East is what is the pay like?

So, what I will tell you is that for the majority of Middle East countries, it is tax free.

So, whatever your base salary is gonna be that is what you are taking home, no tax.

However, some countries in the Middle East have recently brought in taxes.

They're not as much as what we are used to at home in the UK, but it's still something.

So it's important to bear that in mind.

Because if you're coming out here to save and you're planning on coming out here for a few years, then that little bit of tax might make a difference to you.

Aside from the pay, you tend to get some really lucrative competitive packages out here in the Middle East.

So you have to remember that things are gonna differ from country to country because every country has their own laws.

And things will also differ from different employers.

But generally you can expect to have your yearly flights ticket home paid for you.

You can expect to receive travel money or transport to get you into work.

A housing allowance that will enable you to find a place or free housing provided to you.

You may find that some countries will also offer you a yearly bonus when you leave the country for however many years of service you have done out in, in that particular country.

So it varies from place to place. But I would say that, yes, the pay is better.

The packs are better.

And for me personally, I do see a massive difference in my salary than I would have been getting if I was still at home in the UK.

So, it's definitely one of the driving factors I think that brings a lot of people out here as well.

What Are The Similarities And Differences To Expect Working As A UK Nurse In The Middle East?

Generally, there are a lot of similarities in the job compared to the UK.

There is still an expectation of you as a Nurse. And that doesn't change just because you're working abroad.

I would say some of the main differences that I have noticed is that the workload is more manageable.

The equipment is a lot more high tech.

And obviously a lot of the hospitals out there are private.

So, for the hospitals that are government owned people still need to have some form of insurance.

So, for a Nurse coming from the UK who is used to offering free care to everybody and not expecting their patients to have to pay, that is something that takes a little while to get used to.

But I would say that generally there aren't much differences.

There is a lot of UK and American influence in hospitals in the Middle East, and you will find a lot of American, British and other Western expats out there.

And so you'll find that the healthcare model that is used in a lot of these countries in the Middle East is very similar to the ones that we are used to back in the UK.

What Visa Do I Need To Work In The Middle East As A UK Nurse?

You will be required to have a work permit that will allow you to live and work in the country that you choose to reside in.

So, what you will need to do is you would acquire that once your job application is gone through and you get your job offer and that will be arranged for you in due time.

So you personally do not need to arrange a specific visa unless you are planning on going to visit the country prior to moving.

What Else You Might Need To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Some things that I would also consider before moving abroad is, is pretty much the same things that I said before.

Is first and foremost, do your research.

Because you can never know too much.

You need to ask yourself, where are you gonna be able to adapt to be... in the best way possible?

So you need to take into consideration lots of different factors.

• Your finances, your personal commitments, you know, can you get back to your family in an, in an emergency?

• Are you happy being seven hour flight away from home?

• Have you got a mortgage?

• Have you got children?

• Where are you in the middle of your career?

So the same things I echoed earlier are the same advice that I would say to consider.

But a big thing that I would really say is that if it's something that you're thinking about in a couple of years, get saving from now.

In terms of how much the whole process costs, most of the hospitals in the Middle East work with different agencies.

And sometimes it will be the agencies that you are working with and some hospitals will do their recruitment themselves.

So you will be working internally with their team.

How Much Will It Cost Me To Move And Work In The Middle East As A Nurse?

My number one advice to you is under no circumstances should you have to be giving money to anybody.

You should not have to be transferring any money, giving anybody your card details.

The only time that you should be spending money is if you are physically doing something yourself with your card.

So that might mean, for example in the middle of your process, they might say to you you need to get these immunizations done.

Please go to the following hospital, please go to the following location and get these immunizations done.

And bring us back the receipt.

That sort of instance is okay.

But nobody should be asking you to transfer money and cover this fee and cover that fee. Absolutely not.

Because most of these agencies are working in collaboration with the hospital and therefore there will be no fees to be expected from you.

So if there is any chance of somebody asking you for money, run.

What I would say to do, is to make sure that you've got enough money to cover things that might crop up.

Say for example, immunizations.

You might have to do some exams and some tests.

So you should have some money to cover that.

And then I would say have some money for when you're getting ready to move out there because you can't guarantee when your first paycheck is gonna be.

And you can't guarantee that the first paycheck you're gonna receive is gonna be a full amount of salary.

So have about two to three months worth of savings for you to fall back on, so that you don't need to stress yourself out.

That would be my advice.

So actually in all honesty, the cost of the process is slightly less expensive in comparison to if you were emigrating to a different country, say like Australia.

So I would say as a general figure, if you were to include you know, your shipping, your vaccines, exams, your savings, I would say, a good, five grand as a minimum. I would say definitely.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Do you have any questions for Nicola?

Ask Nicola questions in the comments below

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

About the author

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

My name is Nicola Wiafe and I am a NICU Nurse with six years worth of Nursing experience. I have previously worked in the NHS, Australia and now I am on a career break Nursing in the Middle East. I also run a Nurse-led aesthetics business alongside my NICU Nursing and I am currently completing my level 7 qualification in aesthetics medicine. I am really passionate about encouraging Nurses to strike a work life balance that works for them.

See all of our RGN jobs

5776 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

Progress Your Nursing & Care Career

Receive advice by email + access tools to develop & enjoy a fulfilling career!

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

About the author

  • Nicola Wiafe
    NICU Nurse

My name is Nicola Wiafe and I am a NICU Nurse with six years worth of Nursing experience. I have previously worked in the NHS, Australia and now I am on a career break Nursing in the Middle East. I also run a Nurse-led aesthetics business alongside my NICU Nursing and I am currently completing my level 7 qualification in aesthetics medicine. I am really passionate about encouraging Nurses to strike a work life balance that works for them.

  • 0 Comments
Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join