Step by step process to become a Uk nurse

The processes of advancing one’s career in advanced countries have never been clear and direct than it is now. The United Kingdom had since 2016 announced plans to reduce the workload for NHS staffs as well plug a strategy for oversea nurses to work in the NHS. We have covered a step by step process to become a nurse in the UK in this post.

Since that time of announcement, a lot has changed in the process of application and all has been directed at making it a seamless process for oversea nurses.

This post is general and has outlined the step by step process to work in the United Kingdom as a Nurse.

United Kingdom

NB: It has taken Nigeria as a case study for easy understanding.

1. If you do not have an international passport, you need to get one. This would be required for most of the processes. Check with the immigration process of your country to acquire one. For those living in Nigeria, CLICK HERE

2. Then, you need to be familiar with the registration process and this requires a proof of English test. CLICK here to check.

From the link, there are two approved tests- IELTS or OET

IELTS (75 thousand naira)- with band scores:


Reading- 7.0

Speaking- 7.0

Writing- 6.5,

and Overall – 7.0

There are two test organizations in Nigeria:


British Council: CLICK ME

Occupation English Test (OET, it is about 140k currently) –

Minimum of Reading – B, Listening – B, Speaking- B, Writing – C+.


3. In the past, it is okay to take the English tests first, but these days, the number of applications with local nursing and midwifery regulators take time so its best to start the NMC-UK process first and with the verification process commenced first. Then, you can write your English exams while waiting for your verification to be completed (takes about 4-8 weeks now) or if you are financially buoyant, you could start the two together. (IELTS and verification)

Open an account with NMC UK by CLICKING ME 

– Get the checklist and proceed until you see “begin your application”

– If you are a Registered Nurse, you will be needing to register as ‘Adult Nurse’ and respectively as Child/mental health if you have the specialty.

4. After filling in the required information, Pay £140 for evaluation. At this stage, you need to upload the data page of your international passport, certificate (notification can be used here if your NMC qualification certificate isn’t available) as part of the required information.

You’ll have a personalized NMC portal through which you can monitor your progress all through the whole registration process or even revisit via this link to login:

5. Then, you are required to apply for local verification with your local regulator.

For people In Nigeria: the process is online, you can visit the guide on OUR SITE. 

6. Wait to be verified and get an authorization to test email from Pearson (the organization that handles the CBT exam) to book CBT. You may want to also check our CBT test materials sourced from experience and samplings only for your guide to familiarity.

– Book the CBT (£83) and write the exam. You can buy a voucher for this on You will get a voucher code within 24-48 hours which you can input when you get to the payment stage of your CBT booking on Pearson site. If you encounter difficulties with your card payment, (some countries have restrictions on international limit, you can read our guide on PAYING FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICES )

7. Fill the final form by NMC UK which includes an upload of name of medical regulator, police clearance, notification/certificate and IELTS(academics)/OET result (without doing this, you can’t progress beyond this stage and you must have the expected english test bands) among others.

8. Pay the final registration fee of £153 to NMC UK. If you don’t have the fee immediately, you can pay when you get to UK, you only need proof of police check, cbt, ielts, offer letter, COS, visa checklist, TB test report for your Visa application

9. In the past, you would have to wait for a decision letter but its no longer the case, you are only left with the need to take your OSCE exam once you are in the UK.

process to UKRN

10. You can start looking for a job at any stage but preferably, start searching for jobs after you must have passed CBT and IELTS/OET. You can either get an agent (this option is no longer fast but you could try it alongside personal application for jobs. You can apply directly on, and for jobs in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals but for care homes, apply on

We have covered a guide to using trac jobs to quickly get your job. You can CLICK ME to refer to the guide.

The benefits for care home vs NHS vary, choosing one depends on what you want and try researching on both before making a choice. Generally, care homes are believed to pay more but NHS hospitals are better for career advancement. Alternatively, you can send emails to some trusts to show interest in working for them.

11. After getting an offer you are comfortable with (the “comfortable with” is very important), sign the offer letter and send your documents to the trust. Do not sign more than one offer though you can have more than one (max should be 3 please, don’t go beyond that as we are trying not to cause problems for others). Note that when you apply directly, you might have to fund your visa and ticket yourself while you get a refund on getting to the UK (this isn’t always the case though), agents on the other hand pay for these upfront. Just ensure you read your offer letter well to know what the trust is offering. The choice is all yours to make at the end of the day. You might have to try both actually because getting offers isn’t as easy as before due to the backlogs Covid19 has caused.

12. Wait for a Certificate of Sponsorship by the trust (this replaces bank statements other direct visa applicants have to submit). It shows you have a sponsor that will support your stay in the UK. This COS also contains an employment start date. Ensure you don’t have more than one trust processing this for you as it is quite expensive which makes it unfair for the trusts and it can cause problems for you with the home office.

13. Discuss with the trust and book your visa and subsequently, your ticket. Book appointment for TB here:

You need a valid tuberculosis test (about #57,800 with 6 months validity) and police clearance (ranging from #40-50000 depending on location, cheapest price can be gotten at Alagbon police station in Lagos, it has 3 months validity) at this point. The physical exercise at alagbon has been said to be quicker than the online method.

14. The final stage is writing your OSCE (This can only be done in the UK). We have a post on overview of OSCE here. You will get your pin (license) to practice on passing this. Most trusts train nurses for this exam, ensure you check your offer letter well and clarify this.

P.S- You will get to the UK as a pre-registration nurse and will be placed on salary band 3-4 (depending on trust). On passing your OSCE, you’ll automatically become a band 5 nurse.

In our future posts, we will be considering topics and steps on how to make a good application for jobs and prepare for interviews. You can drop comments for further clarifications.


25 Responses

  1. This is very interesting and encouraging. I would like to get more detailed information. On working as a UK Registered Nurse

  2. This is very comprehensive.

    Thanks for sharing.

    If I read clearly , one can begin verification even before writing IELTS,is that correct?

    1. Yes, you can begin the process of verification before IELTS. You just wont be able to complete registration without ielts. But then, this route saves time. Start verification and save to ielts while waiting for verification. Then, after verification, you can still even write and pass CBT. That will increase your motivation for IELTS.

    1. Yes. It takes time for verification to come through. So while waiting even for verification. Plan along for your OET. But please ask about OET very well in Nigeria before booking. Test availability is now a big issue.

  3. Thanks for the detailed information. I need additional information for a married nurse in order to go along with one’s spouse

  4. Thank you so much for the information. Very detailed and helpful.
    I have a question please; for the IELTS, is it the academic or the general one?

    Thank you for your response in advance.

  5. Thanks for the information. I observed that one can apply also to home care, is it possible to get your pin while working in the home care setting?

  6. What is the process for someone with BSC human anatomy,what kind of ielts will he sit for and how can he get jod in UK with his cert

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