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The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom comprises Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), plus Northern Ireland.

UK Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

Population: 60.8 million

Capital: London - Population: 7.5 million

EU Member: Yes - since 1973.

Language: English.

(Some Welsh is spoken in parts of Wales, Gaelic in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and French and Norman French in the Channel Islands.)

Religion: Predominantly Christian (Church of England, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist), sizeable Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu minorities.

Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard.

Weather: The weather in the UK can vary greatly from day to day, but generally summer (June-August) will see temperatures between 14-30 °C, and winter (December-February) around 1-5 °C. The South mostly has higher temperatures than the North.  In the winter months the sun rises between 7.00 and 8.00 and sets between  16.00 and 18.00. In the summer months sunrise is between 04.45 and 05.45 and sunset between 20.00 and 21.30.


Overview of Nursing in the UK

Public Healthcare in the UK

Healthcare in the UK is delivered through the world renowned institution of the National Health Service, set up in 1948 to provide healthcare for all citizens, based on need, not the ability to pay. It is made up of a wide range of health professionals, support workers and organisations. The NHS is funded by the taxpayer. This means it is accountable to Parliament. It is managed by Department of Health - which is directly responsible to the secretary of state for health.


The NHS employs over a million people and is the face of care offered to the majority of people in the UK. A national institution, internationally recognised, it's founding principles and service delivery is envied around the world.


Private Healthcare in the UK

Private healthcare is offered in the UK through approximately 80,000 hospital beds and both competes and compliments the NHS delivery of healthcare in the UK. There are a number of private healthcare groups in the UK who operate private hospitals.


Nurse Salaries

Your salary should be automatically paid into your bank account every month by your employer. You should receive a payslip sent to the ward or department where you work. This payslip will contain details of your total pay, any deductions that apply such as tax, National Insurance or pension contributions, and any adjustments such as weekend working or overtime.

This is an overview of the salaries paid by the NHS as of 1 January 2004. Your actual salary will be determined by the Trust that employs you.



Gross Salary

Grade A

(Age 18+)Auxiliary & Assistants

 From £10,050 to £12,615

Grade B

Auxiliary & Assistants

From £11,825 to £13,920

Grade C

Enrolled & Auxiliary

From £13,465 to £16,525 

Grade D

Newly Qualified Nurses

From £16,525 to £18,240

Grade E

Experienced Staff Nurse (Midwives normally start at this grade)

From £17,660 to £21,325



Grade F

Senior Nurse

From £19,585 to £24,455

Grade G

Sister/Charge Nurse (Health Visitors normally start at this grade)

From £23,110 to £27,190


Grade H

Nurse Specialist

From £25,815 to £30,005

Grade H

Modern Matron

From £25,815 to £30,960

Grade I

Nurse Specialist

From £28,590 to £32,860

Grade I

Modern Matron

From £28,590 to £33,820


Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor Consultants

From £35,035 to £48,185


Further NHS Benefits

The NHS will also offer further benefits such as flexible working options, maternity and paternity leave, career breaks, study leave, compassionate leave, flexible retirement and a minimum 4 weeks annual leave increasing with length of service. Paid sick leave also increases with length of service.


Private Hospitals

Salaries in private hospitals in the UK are often higher than salaries paid in the NHS hospitals. There can also be some extra benefits (such as private health insurance, yearly health screening etc.) These will vary however from job to job and in some instances the salaries may be lower and the benefits not as good as what the NHS roles are offering. You should check the salary & benefits before you accept a role.


Nursing Homes

Salaries and benefits in care homes can also vary dramatically, although they will most likely be less than in a hospital. Make sure you have all the information before you accept a job and sign your contract.


Necessary Qualifications


Only holders of first-level qualifications can apply to be registered with the NMC. It cannot accept applications from those with the following or equivalent qualifications: enrolled nurse, enrolled midwife, licensed practical nurse (LPN), vocational nurse, community nurse, state certified nurse, staff nurse (South Africa), mother craft nurse, nursery nurse.


NMC Register

The NMC register is divided into parts that indicate different specialties or professions. Overseas applicants can apply to be entered onto the following parts of the register:


Part 1   – Registered General Nurse

Part 3   – Registered Mental Health Nurse

Part 5   – Registered nurse for the mentally handicapped

Part 8   – Registered Sick Children’s Nurse

Part 10 – Registered Midwife


In order to apply for a particular part of the NMC register you will need to have actually been trained in that specific area. If you have done a combined course, you need to check with the NMC if this is acceptable before you apply.


For more information, please check with the NMC


Registration Requirements


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is an organization that has been set up by UK Parliament to ensure that nurses, midwives and health visitors provide high standards of care to their patients and clients. The NMC ensures this by maintaining a register of all nurses, midwives and health visitors in the UK. You cannot work as a nurse in the UK if you are not registered with the NMC.


NMC Application Process

The NMC will examine your record of education, training and experience and will assess if you are satisfactorily prepared to carry out the duties of a registered nurse or registered midwife in the United Kingdom.  


To see how to apply to the NMC, please follow the link below.


The new application fee is £140 and every new applicant must pass the IELTS Academic language test with a minimum score of 7.0 overall and in each module before they can begin the application process.


For more information: and look in the overseas section

or phone: +44 (0) 20 7333 6600 or e-mail .


Language Requirements

You need to be able to speak English to a certain standard in order to be registered with the NMC. You must have sufficient command of English to enable you to competently carry out activities such as:

  • Communicating effectively with patients, clients and colleagues

  • Writing and keeping orderly notes and records in such a way that they could be used as evidence in any legal proceedings

  • Explaining a patients' condition and interests to others

  • Keeping up-to-date with relevant research

From 1 September 2007, all overseas applicants (except those from within the EEA) wishing to apply for registration with the NMC as a nurse will also have to undertake the IELTS test. The 'academic' module will be a compulsory requirement and students are expected to achieve a mark of not less than 7 across all components. 


What is IELTS ?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) tests a range of English language skills encountered by students when studying or training in English.


There are over 200  IELTS Test Centres  in more than 100 countries where it is possible to take the test.


Work Permits

Work Permits (UK)

Work Permits (UK) administers the work permit arrangements on behalf of the UK Government. Work permit arrangements allow employers based in the UK to employ people who are not nationals of a European Economic Area country and who are not entitled to work in the UK. Your prospective employer is responsible for applying for your work permit.


Who requires a work permit?

You will require a work permit if you wish to work in the UK and are not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA). Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Switzerland.


From May 1st 2004, the EU’s new member states are Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia. The same rules regarding work permits apply to members of these countries after this date.


You also do not need a work permit to work in the UK if you were:


  • Born in Gibraltar

  • If you are a Commonwealth citizen who was allowed to enter or to remain in the UK on the basis that a grandparent was born here.

  • Are a husband, wife or dependent child under the age of 18 of people who hold work permits


How do apply for a work permit?

Your prospective employer will apply for your work permit on your behalf, although in order to be able to do this, you will have to supply pieces of information and documentation to your prospective employer.  


What information will my prospective employer need?

Your employer will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) along with the completed work permit application (form WP1). If you do not yet have your PIN number, a copy of your letter from the NMC inviting you to return to them the signed declaration of good character and the appropriate fee will be acceptable.


If you are required to undergo a period of supervised practice, you must be employed at a NMC authorised establishment throughout the period of the supervised practice.


Does a work permit for one employer allow me to transfer and work for another employer?

No, work permits are not transferable. They are issued for an individual to do a specific job with a specific employer. If you want to work for a British based employer, they must make a fresh application on your behalf, which will be considered. You must not start work with the new employer until a decision on the application has been reached, and the employer has received notification of this.


For further information regarding work permits, please Click Here



UK Visas

UK Visas was established jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office to manage the UK’s entry clearance (visa) operation.


Visa or entry clearance applications are processed by entry clearance officers in UK embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad, collectively known as UK Missions. UK Visas also deals with applications by people already in the UK to extend their stay, or to change their immigration status.


If you are currently outside the United Kingdom, you may need to apply for entry clearance before you travel. The entry clearance process for the United Kingdom is run by UK visas through the British diplomatic posts around the world.


The need to apply for entry clearance will depend on your current nationality and the scheme under which you wish to come to the United Kingdom. Please check UK visas Visa Questionnaire to determine whether you need entry clearance as well as providing details of the nearest British post where you can make your application.


Once you arrive in the United Kingdom, you may have to register your stay with the police. If you need to register, this requirement will be stamped in your passport upon arrival. You must register within seven days of arriving in the United Kingdom. To register, you will need your passport and two passport-size photographs of yourself.


For further information regarding obtaining a visa / entry clearance for the UK, please Click Here


If you wish to contact UK visas in writing:


UK visas

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street




By fax:

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Gulf States:  +44 (0)20 7008 8302



 +44 (0)20 7008 8361


Rest of World:

 +44 (0)20 7008 8359


By telephone:

09.00 - 17.00, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays:

 +44 (0)20 7008 8438


Useful Links / Contacts



NMC requirements:  NMC Requirements for Overseas Nurses

Royal College of Nursing:

Foreign Office:

Nursing in the NHS:

Royal College of Midwives:











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