UK Visa Registration Requirements for Non-EU Nurses

Overseas qualified nurses must be registered to work in the UK. The regulatory body is called the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

NMC Registration

  • Nurses trained overseas, outside the EU, must register through the NMC’s Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP).
  • They must meet the minimum NMC education requirement, English language requirement (academic IELTS of 6.5 or over on each section) and also undergo a 20 day programme of protected learning. Furthermore, where necessary, there may be a period of supervised practice.
  • Nurses who have qualifications from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or Canada are generally considered very highly

Post Registration Visa Application

Once the appropriate registration has been achieved, most nurses would apply for UK migration via either the work permit holder or Tier 1 – General skilled visa routes.

Work Permit

The Work Permit would generally be the fastest option for  nurses outside of the EU who already have a job offer to migrate to the UK.  For further information, view the UK Visa Bureau work permit pages.

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The Top Ten Nursing Salaries

1. Nurse anesthetist: $154,221
2. Management/administration: senior management: $96,735
3. Nurse practitioner: $85,025
4. Nurse midwife: $82,111
5. Management/administration: $78,356
6. Consultant: $76,473
7. Informatics nurse: $75,242
8. Management/administration: middle management: $74,799
9. Clinical nurse specialist: $72,856
10. Management/administration: first-line management: $72,006
Additionally, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are paid for providing a type of care that also generates substantial compensation for the physicians who provide this type of care. For comparison, anesthesiologists’ mean annual wage in 2009 was $211,750, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


Of the 516 schools that responded to the survey, 406 (79.3%) reported that they had entry-level baccalaureate (BSN) or master’s (MSN ) programs for which employment data for new graduates in the past two years were at least partially available. The survey found that the average job offer rate at the time of graduation was 65% for new graduates based on data collected from 402 schools. By comparison, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a national survey of 35,000 new college graduates across disciplines and found that only 19.7% of new graduates in 2009 had a job offer at the time of graduation. In 2010, NACE found that this job offer rate improved to 24.4%, which is still markedly lower than the 65% identified for nursing school graduates. Digging deeper into the AACN data, the survey found little variation in the average rate of job offers at the time of graduation by institutional type (e.g. large vs. small school; public vs. private school; doctoral degree-granting vs. non-doctoral). However, there is some variability by region of the country. The rate for schools in the South is 74%, which is much higher than the national average (65%). Schools in the West, however, had a substantially lower rate (54%) than average. Schools in Northeast (59%) and the Midwest (64%) also dipped below average. This finding indicates that employment of new graduates from entry level nursing programs is more challenging in different regions of the country.
With respect to job offers for new nursing program graduates 4–6 months after graduation, the survey found
this rate to be 89% based on data collected from 393 schools with entry-level BSN and MSN programs. This
finding indicates an increase of 24% in employment for new graduates from the time of graduation. Once
again the survey found little variation based on school type and institutional characteristics. The job offer rate did vary by region, from 78% for schools in the West to 88% in the Northeast to 89% in the Midwest to 94% in the South. Though employment of graduates in the West lags behind the rest of the country, the job offer rate did increase considerably, by 24 percentage points from the time of graduation to the period 4-6 months out of school (54% to 78%).
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