- 12 March 2019
- 3 min read
Irish nurses - here's how you can work in the NHS
Claire is an Irish student nurse, studying in England. In this blog she details how you can work in England as a nurse or midwife, even if you have Irish qualifications.
The UK currently has a high demand for nurses to work in the NHS. Irish nurses - and nurses from overseas elsewhere - are highly valued workers - Irish nurses make up over 4,000 of the entire NHS workforce.
Here's some essential advice for overseas nurses looking for a job in the UK. In the meantime, keep on reading to find out why working as a nurse in the UK provides excellent opportunities.
Training - UK or Ireland?
Personally, I chose to study in England at the University of Southampton because of the course length.
In Ireland, the course is four years long, compared to English courses which are typically 3 years long.
Also, in the UK, there are universities in near enough every city. Obviously, every uni is different and every trust is different based on location. So, depending on what you want in your career as a nurse, the UK can offer that in different universities.
In Ireland, it is harder than ever to get into courses. The demand is a lot higher now so getting into university is a lot more competitive.
I didn't have the right amount of points to be able to get into an Irish university, however I had a good amount to be able to study in England. Although the process with UCAS was quite complicated, it's worked out better for me in the long run to study here in Southampton.
Registration with the NMC is absolutely essential. Without it, you can't work as a nurse or midwife in England.
You need to be able to prove that you speak good English, too.
Therefore, you need to submit adequate documents which proves this. For Irish nurses who have trained in Ireland, your leaving cert should be sufficient.
Once you've applied to the NMC, since the training is different in the UK compared to Ireland, they'll have to compare the training to that of the UK's to see if it fits their standard - it's not too dissimilar, though, so it should be fine!
Once the NMC have approved you to work here, you'll have to apply to the register.
To remain on this register, you have to pay a fee of £120 a year - if you don't, you own't be able to work as a nurse at all.
So, it's better to be safe than sorry and make sure you stay up to date with payments!
Of course, like with any job, just because you have the skills you may not get a job straightaway.
It may take several applications to roles before you get a job - being registered doesn't automatically guarantee you employment!
However, like I said earlier, nurses are sought after in England at the moment, so the chances of you getting a nursing job is quite likely.
For more information of the NMC, follow this link to visit their website. Here you'll be able to see the code all nurses and midwives have to follow and other information regarding registration under the NMC.