The journey to becoming a UK registered nurse - by Cassandra Sharp | NELFT Talks

The journey to becoming a UK registered nurse - by Cassandra Sharp | NELFT Talks

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The journey to becoming a UK registered nurse - by Cassandra Sharp

I worked as a Registered Nurse in the Philippines, before I came to England. I graduated in 2007 and became a Registered Nurse the following year, before becoming a staff nurse in a secondary hospital and rotating in different areas such as general ward, operating theatre and delivery room.

To work in the UK, I had to go through a registration process – here is how I became a UK registered nurse:

Initially, I registered to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an International applicant. I completed the registration online and set myself up an NMC account.

The first requirement that they needed was to sit the English exam - which was the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). I submitted the IELTS result to them and they sent me an email saying that I can book myself for the first exam - which was a computer-based test that cost £130. I used the Royal Marsden book to study and did some readings with other references. I gave myself at least six weeks to study and managed to pass the test.

After I passed that computer test, they sent me an email regarding requirements that they would need. It was like an NMC pack, but you could download it though your NMC account. It consists of forms that you need to send to the University, professional regulatory boards and two references from previous work places – which had to be from the nursing department and by someone in authority for example a matron or chief nurse. They also asked for the transcript of records and RLE experience from the university. A police clearance, equivalent to DBS in UK, is also a requirement. To complete all of the requirements, it took around 12 weeks in total.

After I completed the requirements, I received a notification that I would be able to take the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) exam. I booked the exam through the University of Northampton and this cost £992. This is the practical part of the examination. It is divided into two parts and consists of six stations (two assessing skills and four assessing the patient journey), which the applicant will be assessed on. You are allowed to take the exam twice, but if you fail to pass - you have to wait for another six months and you have to re-apply and start the application process again.

After I passed the OSCE, they sent me a confirmation that I could then pay for the nursing registration - which cost £153. It took three days before I received my registration to the system as a Registered Nurse.

I began working as a senior healthcare assistant at Basildon Integrated Community Team in July 2015. I received my registration in April 2017 and I now work as a community nurse.

I would encourage people to go through the registration process, even though it is not easy. It is worth it in the end. I have been working for NELFT for over two years now and I would say that it is a nice place to work, as the people are very supportive and the work itself will help you to grow and build your confidence. Also, my colleagues and managers are very helpful and they made it easy for me to go back and work as a nurse again.

Thanks to Cassandra for her time and explaining how the process works

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