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A Comprehensive Guide for Kenyan Nurses Seeking to Work in the UK

The prospect of working as a nurse in the United Kingdom (UK) is an exciting opportunity for Kenyan nursing professionals. This comprehensive blog post aims to provide a detailed guide on the essential steps and considerations for Kenyan nurses aspiring to immigrate and work in the UK healthcare system.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulatory body for nurses in the UK. Kenyan nurses must undergo the NMC registration process, which involves submitting necessary documents, proving English language proficiency, and passing the NMC Test of Competence.

1. Academic and Professional Requirements

You need the following qualifications;

  • Nursing Degree or Diploma
  • 1 Year of nursing experience
  • Registered Nurse License

2. English Language Proficiency

Demonstrating proficiency in the English language is a crucial requirement. As a Kenyan nurse planning to work in the UK, you can fulfil this by taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET).

Here are the required scores:

  • Academic IELTS with 6.5 in writing and 7 in remaining areas
  • OET with C+ in writing and B in remaining areas

3. Attend Job Interview

Once you have passed your IELTS or OET, the work placement organization you are working with will schedule an interview for you via Zoom, Skype or a similar video platform with prospective employers in the U.K.

4. NMC Self-assessment

You will need to complete the NMC Test of Competence – an online self-assessment test which will confirm if you are eligible to apply for NMC registration.

The assessment will ask you to confirm that you meet health, good character and English language requirements.

5. Pass Computer Based Test (CBT)

All nurses in the UK must be registered with the Nursing & Midwife Council (NMC). Registration entails a Computer Based Test (CBT), which can be taken in multiple test centres across the globe. The test comprises 120 computer-based multiple-choice questions. You need to adequately prepare to succeed.

6. NMC Application Assessment

The NMC will need a few of your documents to assess whether you are fit for a nursing role in the UK. Once all your documents have been received, a member of the International Registrations Team will be assigned to process your application.

7. Submit Documents to Employer

Throughout the recruitment process, you will need to submit documents to the placement organization you are working with, which will be forwarded to your employer. The documents will ensure that you can legally and safely work in the UK.

Here are some of the documents;

  • Certificate of Good Conduct
  • NHS application form
  • Proof of address documents
  • References

8. Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

For you to apply for your UK work visa, you will need a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). Your NHS Trust will act as your sponsor and will apply for this on your behalf.

The COS remains valid for 3 years, after which you can be re-sponsored. After living in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency.

9. Visa Application

You will need to apply for a Tier 2 Visa. Most employers pay for or reimburse the cost of your VISA.

10. Flight to the UK

Most employers will pay for or reimburse your flight to the UK. On arrival, the work placement organization you are working with will ensure you are picked up at the airport and taken to your initial accommodation.

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