UK Nurse English Language Requirements

UK Nurse English Language Requirements

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Landing a job as a nurse in the UK brings many advantages and plenty of opportunities. If you are a nurse who wants to come to work in this country, however, you’ll need to meet the basic nurse english language requirements.

Here we take a look at what international nurses need in order to demonstrate they can communicate effectively in a UK healthcare environment and satisfy the rules of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Registering with the NMC

Any UK nurse that is in current practice needs to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. For international nurses whose first language isn’t english, that process includes demonstrating the necessary standard of communication. This can be done by providing the following evidence:

  • The NMC accepts successful completion of an english language test such as the IELTS or OET (see below).
  • You will also be accepted if you are a pre-registration nurse who undertook their training and successfully achieved their qualifications in a course that was taught in english.
  • If you have practised nursing in an english speaking country for at least one year you will also qualify for registration.

Competency in english means you should include four components: writing, listening, reading and speaking.

What Are IELTS and OET?

The International English Language Testing Scheme or IELTS requires you to achieve a set score for the four components of communication.

  • First, you need to achieve an overall score of 7.
  • Second, you need a score of 7 in the listening, reading, and speaking sections but can pass with a 6.5 in writing as long as your overall score is still 7.

There are IELTS testing centres in over 140 countries around the world, including the UK. Check here to find the one nearest you.

The Occupational English Test or OET assesses language communication skills for nursing and other healthcare professionals. Those taking the test need to achieve a minimum of B in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The OET is less prevalent around the world compared to the IELTS. There are around 130 testing venues in 40 different countries. Find out more here.

For both tests, there is the opportunity to combine results if you take more than one sitting. You can find out more details here.

Why is an English Qualification Necessary?

Nurses and other healthcare professionals provide an important service in the UK and individuals are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the people in their care. This also means you need to be able to communicate effectively. It’s also a prerequisite of being accepted onto the NMC register which is a requirement for all nursing and midwifery staff who are in current practice.

Passing an english exam or meeting any of the other requirements of the NMC is not the end of things for a nurse in the UK. It’s important to make sure that your level of english is suitable for operating in this country. If the NMC receive concerns that your communication is not up to standard, even though you may have passed the OET or IELTS, they may decide to review your fitness to practice which could include removing your registration.


Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.



5 Nursing Expectations vs Reality

5 Nursing Expectations vs Reality

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There’s no doubt that nursing is a tough, demanding but rewarding job. It’s often portrayed as a vocation where you care for patients who are friendly and thankful, and healthcare professionals come together in a supportive environment.

While this is not entirely untrue, there is often quite a lot more to it as most experienced nurses will tell you. There’s no doubt that many young nurses go into the profession with rose tinted glasses. What were your nursing expectations when you first started in your role?

Well here is a look at a few examples of what you can expect from a career in nursing and how this actually compares to reality.

1. Training Will Never Truly Prepare You

No matter how much training or experience you have, you can never completely be prepared for every situation that a career in nursing will present you.

The old cliché that each day is different really does apply here. While ever day is totally unpredictable, this is also something makes the profession worthwhile and exciting. Prepare for tough days as well as great ones!

2. Your Shift Will Seldom Run on Time

Nursing is definitely not a 9 to 5 profession. While many modern care establishments are a lot better at managing the time of their employees than they used to be, the nature of the profession naturally means you will need to be totally flexible.

Staff shortages, unexpected events and having to complete mounting paperwork can all combine to ensure that you will probably rarely finish your shift on time!

3. Don’t Expect Thanks

You will be caring for other people at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives, however you will not always receive a sincere thank you.

Nurses often work under immense pressure and feeling valued is important in any job. Do not expect that patients are going to laud your nursing skills and express their appreciation for the help you have given them.

For most nurses, of course, a thank you isn’t as important as delivering high-quality care. But it’s nice to fell valued all the same!

4. Nurse/Patient Ratios are Not Always Balanced

Nurse understaffing is a well documented problem in the UK. The truth is that you will sometimes be placed in situations where there are staff shortages and you will have to cope, even when this is potentially dangerous to those in your care.

Lack of enough staff, or lack of appropriately qualified staff, is one of the big bugbears that qualified nurses have. If you are a young nurse, it’s something that you will need to be aware of and you will need to manage this situation to the best of your ability.

5. You Don’t Always Get A Break

There are many factors that can creep into the nursing day that can mean it isn’t always possible to take your whole break, or take your beak at all. Normally, the first thing that may be sacrificed is your coffee or tea break.

This is something that many experienced nurses accept but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look to take a break to clear your mind and recharge your batteries when you can. Being overtired and overworked can, of course, lead to mistakes as well as burnout.

Despite these factors, nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession with a lot to offer. The role does come with plenty of challenges however, and you should have a realistic understanding of what these are.


Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Format Your CV for a Senior Healthcare Role

Format Your CV for a Senior Healthcare Role

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Are you ready to step up into a senior healthcare role? Well, your CV needs to look the part! Your CV must highlight your experience and suitability for the role but it also needs to stand out from all the others.

While many of the standard formatting solutions apply to any level of CV, the following tips will help you get it right for that step up to a senior healthcare role you may be aiming for in future.

Tailor Your CV to the Senior Healthcare Role

It can be tempting to send out the same CV for each job you apply for, but this is not a smart move. If you are applying to a senior healthcare role, you should tailor your application to the job requirements as closely as possible. This means carefully reading the job specification and listing the qualities you have that meet the requirements of the role. Look at your application from the recruiters point of view and really try to understand what they are looking for.

Name and Qualifications

These details should be clearly highlighted at the top of the first page of your CV to immediately indicate to the recruiter that you are qualified to do the job. Agencies and companies get a large number of applications and want to quickly sort the serious applicants from those not qualified. Most senior roles in the nursing or care sector require a certain set of qualifications as a standard so put these front and centre of your CV.

Link to Your Online Profile

If you are already working in a senior capacity, you may already have a LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t, it would be a good idea to set one up. You can use this platform to list and highlight experience, add extra personal info (such as a headshot), and get past and existing employers to leave you reviews.

Include a Personal Introduction

Personalise your CV introduction paragraph to the role that you are applying for. Include a list of your core competencies, and highlight achievements in your career that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Also include personal goals and reasons as to why you want the job you are applying for.

List Your Job Experience and Education

The next section should list your work experience, starting with the most recent position first and then moving back through your past roles. Make sure to highlight any instances where you have had leadership/management or senior responsibility, even if only for a period of time where you were covering a colleagues role.

In the final section of your CV, you should include your education history. If you are a nurse looking for a senior role, this must also include information such as post-graduate study as well as most recent accredited training relevant to the job.

Layout is Important

Now down to the basics! The layout of your CV must be clean, uniform and easy to read.

  • Try to keep your sentences uncomplicated and to the point – avoid waffling!
  • Where possible, limit your CV to 2 pages
  • Check your spelling – any spelling errors are unforgivable!

Finally get somebody else to read through your CV and check it for you once completed. It never hurts to have a check from a fresh set of eyes!

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Nursing CPD Points and You

Nursing CPD Points and You

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Across the nursing sector, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a vital part of ensuring that today’s workforce is kept up to date with the latest developments.

Whether it’s learning a new skill or refreshing existing knowledge, CPD is designed to not only ensure you are fit for practice as a nurse, but can also enhance your future career opportunities. It’s also a prerequisite for nurses to renew their nursing registration.

What are Nursing CPD Points?

As a nurse, you need to complete 35 hours of learning that is relevant to your area of practice. This needs to be completed during the 3 years since your last registration (or following your initial registration if you are newly qualified).

The CPD must include at least 20 hours of participatory learning (in other words learning that involves interacting with one or more professionals) and you will need to keep accurate records of what training you have undertaken. You gain 1 nursing CPD point or credit for each hour of study or training that you do.

There are a wide range of opportunities and ways to complete CPD for today’s modern nurses. For instance, you may want to do some e-learning at home on your computer or you might prefer to attend ‘live’ events such as study days. You might even want to undertake longer courses to add certain skills or qualifications to your CV. Many employers, including agencies, provide at least some access to CPD or support for the courses that you choose to take.

Why Do Nurses Need CPD points?

CPD enables you to remain up to date with the latest practices and research, and develop new skills that will benefit your nursing career. Nurses and midwives must register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and undertaking the 35 hours of CPD is mandatory if you want to continue practising in the UK.

What Are the Benefits for Nurses?

While getting 35 nursing CPD points is mandatory, it also presents numerous benefits for you as a nurse, not least ensuring your skills and training are advanced with the latest evidence-based practice. As a nurse, of course, you have a duty to deliver the best level of care, whatever environment you work in.

If you are looking to develop your career, CPD points are vital as evidence that you are serious about your career development. CPD is also a way to demonstrate to future employees that you have the necessary skills and expertise to carry out your job adequately.

Choosing the Right CPD Courses

Making sure you gather the mandatory number of nursing CPD points over the three-year period of your registration is more than just a box-ticking exercise. Understanding what you should focus on and how this will impact on your future career is important. It pays to do some careful research and map out your learning to ensure that you are making the most of each opportunity.

For more info, The RCN provides some great guidance on CPD on their website

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Why Join the DBS Update Service

Why Join the DBS Update Service

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All nurses and healthcare professionals in the UK know that each new role they apply for and move into will require an updated DBS check to be performed. The main reason for the service is to help employers make safe decisions when it comes to employing staff, many of whom will have vulnerable individuals in their care.

The DBS is responsible for processing criminal record checks and placing or removing people from the barring lists. Checks can be carried out at three different levels: basic, standard or enhanced depending on the role a person is employed in.

If you are a nurse or healthcare worker who changes jobs regularly, carrying out a DBS check every time you swop roles can be time-consuming and expensive. This is where the DBS Update Service comes in – it allows applicants to keep their certificates current and also gives potential employers the opportunity to check relevant details online saving time and also money. The DBS Update Service is used for standard and enhanced checks only.

How Often is a New DBS Needed?

This can vary from employer to employer and is often an annual process. If you are changing jobs or moving to a more enhanced DBS certificate requirement, you are most likely to need a check. Many employers will have a sector-specific policy when it comes to periodic checks which means making sure that your certificate is up to date is important.

The Benefits of the DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service launched in 2013 and is used by many nursing and healthcare employers to keep track of new and existing staff certificates. According the Royal College of Nursing:

“The service reduces the need for repeated checks every time an applicant changes jobs, provided the same type and level of check is required, within the same workforce.”

The main benefit to nurses and carers is that the service is quick and easy to use and helps minimise costs when it comes to DBS checks. The majority of employees have their DBS fees reimbursed by their employer but some don’t. For these, there is limited tax relief available if the employee has subscribed to the DBS Update Service. If you are thinking of moving jobs or change jobs regularly, the DBS Update Service makes life a lot easier for both you and your new employer. It costs just £13 a year to subscribe to and offers a number of immediate benefits:

  • You can immediately check the details that are provided for your DBS certificate.
  • You can add or remove a certificate and give employers permission to view your details.
  • You can see who has checked your certificate.

You can normally take your DBS certificate with the update service into your next job as long as you are not switching to a new area of employment. For example, if you were previously a nurse working in adult services you will generally be required to undertake a new DBS check if you move into children’s services, depending on the type of check that was performed. For example if you currently have a standard certificate but need an enhanced one, you will most likely be required to have a new check.

Any employer can check DBS online via the Update Service as long as they are legally entitled to do so and have the employee’s permission. You can register for the DBS Update Service here.


Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Top 5 Online UK Nursing Resources

Top 5 Online UK Nursing Resources

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Working in the UK nursing arena is certainly varied and interesting. As a registered nurse, you’ll be qualified to work in a wide range of healthcare environments, from local GPs and hospitals to private clinics and nursing homes. A UK Nursing qualification is also one that is recognised across the world.

For any nurse who wants to keep up with the latest developments, online resources have become increasingly important over the last couple of decades. Whether you want to keep your skills up to date or simply need to be informed of the latest developments, there are plenty of websites dedicated to UK nursing.

Here are 5 UK nursing sites that you might want to add to your bookmarks today:

1. RCN

The Royal College of Nursing or RCN is actually the world’s biggest union and looks after the interests of all Nurses, Midwives, Students and Healthcare Assistants in the UK. That’s nearly half a million people. They provide support and help on everything from wage disputes to career development and their site has a lot of useful information for today’s busy healthcare professional.

2. NMC

The Nursing and Midwifery Council or NMC is the regulatory body for Nurses and Midwives in the UK. They are charged with setting all the standards that apply in training as well as continuing professional development once qualified. They also maintain the register of who is allowed to practice as a nurse or midwife. When you first start as a student, you will be registered with the NMC and you will need to comply with their code of conduct. That will continue once you are qualified and throughout your UK nursing career.

3. Skills for Health

Every registered nurse or other healthcare professional understands that keeping their skills up to date is important. This is often difficult to do when you’re so busy working all the time. Skills for Health is a non-profit organisation that works to develop the framework for e-learning in healthcare and is geared towards raising standards and improving health outcomes and quality. They also have a large number of case studies and reports as well as guidance documents on their website.

4. Nursing Times

The Nursing Times is basically the gold standard magazine for the UK nursing sector. It was launched over a 100 years ago and provides the latest news and updates of what is happening in UK nursing and around the world. You’ll also find thousands of peer review articles concerning new and exciting innovations in nursing and healthcare. If you subscribe to the magazine, you also get access to some really useful learning material.

5. Go Nurse – UK Nursing

As well as being a nursing agency that provide a wide range of employment opportunities, good rates of pay and plenty of value added extras including bonuses for long time service and free learning courses, Go Nurse also has an array of informative and helpful blogs on our website covering interesting, exciting and helpful nurse topics.


Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.