Are you a non-UK trained Nurse?
Do you want to work in the UK as a nurse? Do you know the requirements for Non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK?
This article will explain the requirements for Non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK.

Following the increasing need for nurses and other healthcare professionals in all nations of the world. Nurses have continued to migrate to developed nations from less developed continents like Africa and Asia to Western countries especially the UK and the US.

Checklist for Non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK

  1. Nursing Qualification

For non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK, they must be fully qualified registered nurses from a recognised institution in their country of training. In addition, you should have at least one year of nursing work experience.

  1. English Language proficiency

The official language in the UK is the English language, thus internationally trained nurses who wish to work in the UK as nurses must provide evidence of their ability to comprehend and communicate in English proficiently.

To prove your English language proficiency you will need to register and sit for International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET).

The required IELT score for non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK is a cumulative score of 7 with 6.5 in writing and at least 7 in speaking, listening and reading.

The required OET score for non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK is C+ in Writing and B in Listening, speaking and reading.

  1. Computer-based test (CBT)

CBT is based on UK general nursing theory which covers adult nursing, children nursing, mental health nursing and midwifery. Other areas such as nursing professional values, nursing decision-making, communication and leadership are also covered.

The CBT is in multiple-choice question (MCQ) format and is written globally in designated centres. Thus the applicant can sit for CBT in their home country.

Non-UK trained nurses who intend to work in the UK as a nurse must sit for CBT and pass the CBT.

  1. Valid International passport

All foreign-trained nurses must have a valid international passport from their home country. An international passport will be required to travel to the UK.

Also, an international passport is one of the requirements for IELTS/OET registration and processing a new passport will take weeks or months to be ready depending on the country.

  1. NMC registration

All non-Uk trained nurses who intend to work in the UK must be registered with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The above-stated requirements(nursing qualification, Proof of English proficiency and CBT) are required to pre-register with NMC.

  1. Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

After successfully sitting for the above exams and gathering the required documents, the applicant can then apply for work from their home country. If they can secure suitable employment the employer will grant the foreign-trained nurse a Certificate of Sponsorship which is necessary to obtain a tier 2 working Visa to enable the applicant to travel to the UK.

  1. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

OSCE is a nursing clinically based exam required for NMC registration. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination is written in the UK. The exam simulates the clinical environment and scenarios which nurses working in the UK are likely to encounter.

Non-UK trained nurses can sit for the Objective Structured Clinical Examination when they have secured employment in the UK as a pre-registration non-UK trained nurse and are already working in the UK.

The non-UK trained nurse has up to three months from their employment date to sit for the first Objective Structured Clinical Examination


Migrating to the UK as a non-UK trained nurse to work in the UK is achievable and has been successfully done by many foreign-trained nurses.

The IELT exam which is a requirement for non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK can be booked with the British Council or IDP and the results are usually ready within two weeks after the exam and are valid for two years.

After gathering the documents required for non-UK trained nurses to work in the UK and passing the English proficiency exam. The non-UK trained nurse should visit the NMC official website and open an account. The CBT can be registered via Pearson Vue. The candidate will need to pay the required fee.

Read also: Requirements for Nigerian-trained nurses to work in the UK