Recruiting Overseas Nurses

Jun 21, 2018


Whether your organisation has tons of experience with recruiting nurses from abroad, or you’ve yet to venture into this option, WE Solutions would like to remind you of some of the key considerations to keep in mind, as well as changes that may differ from the way you’ve done things in the past.

As you might know, the immigration rules changed a bit in March of 2015, enabling individual nurses to come to the UK in preparation of the OSCE. This means that they can arrive for the second part of the testing process (the first being the computer-based, multiple-choice examination that is done online) prior to the actual examination date.

From a nurse recruitment standpoint, this suggests that there could be more foreign clinicians applying to posts from within the UK than ever before. It’s likely that while preparing for one position, a candidate might check the job boards and other local resources (while in England) to expand their options – should things not work out with the first organisation.

While they might be from other countries, the opportunity to meet with them in person exists.

These pre-registration candidates are legally entitled to work for their sponsor for up to three months from the employment start date stated on the CoS. Should they not pass the OSCE the first time (they’re allowed up to three attempts), it’s uncertain whether or not the same organisation will give them additional chances, causing many foreign nurses to return to their home countries without a job.

As you can see, it makes sense for them to broaden their options as much as possible while granted temporary legal stay in the UK.

On a positive note, these candidates have already been determined to possess the required level of language capability, have passed part one of the NMC test of competence, and are eligible to receive a certificate of sponsorship.

WE Solutions can assist you with maximising your efforts on job boards and in recruitment strategies, aimed specifically at foreign nurses who are seeking opportunities in the UK.

Many of these nurses might already by in the country at the time they apply. Recent changes announced by the prime minister (June 2018) have relaxed the Tier 2 visa limitations (most notably the cap on foreign workers), effectively excluding nurses and making it easier for them to find employment in the UK.

Another important change, which occurred in recent years, was the addition of nursing to the shortage occupation list. Although this was amended slightly (as of late 2016) in relation to RCoS (applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship), it still increases the likelihood of nursing applications being granted, as they are prioritised by the UK Visas and Immigration points system.

To put things simply, the government is increasingly taking steps towards making it easier and more efficient for medical organisations and qualified foreign nurses to progress through the system.

Now’s the time to expand your job search to include foreign nurses and midwives, or refine the way you’re currently doing it.

Let WE Solutions discuss with you some of the ways our strategies and technologies can fill your nurse vacancies quickly.

Contact us for a no-obligation analysis and overview.

8 Comments. Leave new

I will like more info on the process of recruiting foreign nurse. I am UK trained and think I have so much to offer.

Viraj Abegunarathna
July 17, 2019 1:49 pm

As a employer who is hoping to recruit overseas (non EU) nurses, what should I be aware according to Home Office requirements.


Thank you for your comment, if you have any queries please can you email them to and we will be intouch shortly

Keisha Phillips
August 13, 2019 11:41 pm

I am a RN in Jamaica and I would like to know more about the requirements needed to work in England and how do I go about applying to do same.

Simone Hylton
October 5, 2019 12:28 pm

My name is Simone Hylton I am a registered nurse in Jamaica and I passed my English Exam in Jamaica wile I was at High school.


Thank you for your comment, if you have any queries please can you email them to and we will be intouch shortly

Jacquilin Chitambo Mukupo
February 17, 2020 8:11 am

Am a Zambian female registered nurse, I would love to work from UK,what are the qualifications and requirements?.


Thank you for your comment, if you have any queries please can you email them to and we will get back to you.


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