Work as a nurse in England

A nurse in the UK can work in both the private and the public sector. Of course the requirements and demands are different for both. We can help you find a job in all the following areas: nursing homes, private clinics, private hospitals and with the NHS public hospitals all over the UK. We will accompany you throughout all the process, starting with your interview to helping you in your search for accommodation  in UK.

All of this is provided free of charge.

Current situation

During the economic crisis, number of nurses from all over the world were looking for a job in UK or Ireland. Nowadays, the demand for nurses is still very high.

We only commit to finding jobs within the NHS for our clients as long as they meet the requirements for both language and experience. In 2016, 18 January, introduced a new English standard and now you will need the following English evidences if you want to be registered in NMC:

  • Recently achieved the required score in one of the English language tests accepted by the NMC.  A new change was made last 28th, November, 2018 and NMC accepts an IELTS certificate with a minimum of 6.5 in writing alongside a minimum of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking (the minimum overall score is 7.0). A new change was made 28th, January, 2020 and NMC accepts an OET certificate with a minimum of C+ in writing alongside a minimum of B grade in reading, listening and speaking.
  • A recent pre-registration nursing or midwifery qualification which was taught and examined in English.
  • Registration and practice of at least one year in a country where English is the first and native language and an English language assessment was required for registration.

Your goals should be realistic. London  is the most sought after city when for looking for a job and in turn, only the most qualified are hired. A high level of English is required and the competition is tough.

As the majority of  nurses want to work in the public sector, otherwise known as the NHS, we have put together a list of advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. We would also like to highlight that working in a private hospital in the UK  has a huge number of advantages as well.

The requirements

The essential requirements for every nurse applying for a job in England are:

  • Nursing college degree.
  • Having Academic IELTS Exam with at least 7 overall/OET grade B all parts except writing grade C+/combining tests. More information.
  • Not be suspended or accused of malpractice.
  • Be part of the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council).

A few years ago, to qualify for a job in the UK, it was required some post-graduate experience, but this has been changing and newly graduated nurses have real possibilities to get a job in England.

Work as a Nurse in Public Hospitals NHS/HSE

As the majority of  nurses want to work in the public sector, otherwise known as the NHS, we have put together a list of advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. We would also like to highlight that working in a private hospital in the UK  has a huge number of advantages as well.

Advantages of working in the NHS

  • Time worked abroad in the public sector is evaluated in Spain when you apply for a job in the public health system. That will probably change in UK after leaving the European Union.
  • The work is very varied and you can learn a lot.
  • There is a real possibility for continuous development. In England, employees are required to continue receiving training and attend courses. You will be continually offered these courses and you also have the right to request them.
  • Opportunities for promotion and change of band with the corresponding salary increase.
  • Opportunities to take courses (which are paid for) during working hours.
  • Possibility of mobility or change of city.
  • Possibility to specialize without having to study the ‘EIR’.
  • NHS Pension Plan (one of the best in the country).


  • Salaries are much lower with the NHS than private hospitals in general and the workload is higher.
  • Your level of English must correspond to your role and the amount of responsibility.
  • The pace of work can be much higher than expected and sometimes hospitals are short staffed which means that your work load will get higher.
  • Family members could file official complaints if they are not happy with the service received.

Start your adventure with us


Working in private hospitals in the UK, especially in London is on the Top Ten list of aspirations for a nurse. You will probably be working hand in hand with the top surgeons in the country and with the most highly qualified doctors. The salaries are higher than you can expect to receive anywhere in England and the working environment is absolutely fantastic.

Jobs Agency FM recommends this type of work for nurses who already have a high level of Englishexperience working in a hospital and/or are tired of working in the public sector or simply need a change.

Of course, patients who pay for private insurance also require a higher level of attention and care than patients in the public sector. Besides, there are commodities and types of care available that one can rarely receive from the NHS. One has to be very kind, pleasant, polite and handle patients with a lot of empathy. Excellent bed side manners are required. One must be able to connect with all kinds of patients but at the same time be able to keep a distance. You have to keep in mind that the English are very well mannered and very ‘politically correct’. Most nurses who choose to work in the private sector are those who meet the following criteria:

  • They usually have several years of experience working in nursing homes, in the NHS/HSE or in private clinics.
  • Earning points required for the Spanish public health services is not their priority.
  • They prefer giving each and every patient the time they feel is necessary, with no hurry or pressure.

Advantages of working in a private hospital

  • The salary is much higher than in any NHS hospital.
  • The nurse to patient ratio is much lower. Of course if the hospital is private and the patients are paying for a service they expect top notch care.
  • The work load is lower.
  • The pace of work and work related stress is also lower.


  • The amount of training and opportunities for continuous development is not as high as in the NHS.
  • Time worked in private hospitals translates into less points for jobs in public health services.
  • Every autonomous community works this out differently, for this reason we advise asking the communities directly for this information. Overall hours worked do count, but always less than time worked in the NHS.
  • "I found Jobs Agency FM looking for a job as a nurse in UK. I sent my CV and  they called me at the moment.  I would definitely recommend FM 100%. Thank you very much for everything!"

    María Quispe
    María Quispe Nurse


If you do not have experience or you do not feel comfortable with pressure and you love work with Elderly patients, then your best option is to work in a nursing home. The rhythm is slower, less rushed and less stressful. It is without a doubt the best place to improve your English at your own pace.

Most of the jobs offered to nurses in England are found in the private sector. Nursing homes are in high demand and a large number can be found all over the country. It is important to note that the concept of nursing homes in the UK is not the same as it is in Spain. In the UK, nursing homes are similar to large villas and country houses plus they offer the same services as a good hotel: Individual accommodation with communal areas, gardens, activities, hairdressing services, an option for relatives to order meals and in some places even swimming pools for rehabilitation.

Advantages of working in a Nursing home

Job interviews in the comfort of your own home

Nursing homes look for people who are enthusiastic, committed to their jobs and ready to get involved and work in a team. This is why a positive attitude during the job interview is fundamental. At Jobs Agency FM we will help you prepare your interview with our recommendations and advice on how to pass a job interview successfully. You don’t have to go anywhere for the interview, you can do it in the comfort of your own home by phone or Skype (video conference) at a time that suits both parties.

To work in the public sector, the NHS (National Health Service) face to face interviews are required. Are you willing to pay for a plane ticket for every interview you want to do?

Learn English for Free and stress free

If you do not feel confident with your level of English you can try working in the private sector.  You will learn English and make money at the same time. Besides, you will be learning English at work taking your time, you will be immersed in Medical English, which at the end of the day is the most important kind for you at this stage.

The level of English required for working in a public hospital is much higher than the English necessary for the private sector. The rhythm of the hospital is manic, the positions are highly stressful and come with a lot of responsibility. You have to be able to understand your patients and of course they have to be able to understand you. Working quickly and with precision is the norm, so you have to ask yourself:

If someone speaks to you quickly and/or the speaker is wearing a mask, if you have to speak to a doctor or nurse of any nationality, would you be able to understand them perfectly? Would you like having to ask them to repeat or speak more slowly? How would you feel if you weren’t able to understand your patients, your colleagues or  bosses?

Immerse yourself completely in the English health system

The Spanish health system and the English one are totally different. It usually takes a while to learn the way they do things there and why they are done in that way.  Learn and enjoy learning at your own pace.

Obtain English references

In Spain we are not accustomed to needing references, in the UK it is required by law. Every time you change jobs you need two references (reference letters are not enough) that should be printed and filled out in English, duly stamped, signed, dated, scanned and sent to your employer.

Having English references is very positively evaluated. Candidates who have been working in the UK for years and have good references are preferred over those who have no experience working in the UK, even if they have years of experience working in Spain.


Jobs Agency FM is a Spanish company , run by Spanish personnel with clients all over the UK and Ireland. It is always best to ask any questions and clear up any doubts in your own language, than to embark on this adventure on your own and without support.

Jobs Agency FM can advise you throughout the process, what you have to do, where how and when. There is a lot of paperwork involved once you do get a job. Jobs Agency FM will be with you every step of the way, for free.

If you choose to let us help you with your job search, you can send us your CV and we will send you our tips and recommendations on how to embark on this adventure. Don’t forget that this service is free of charge. If you wish to go with friends or partner, just let us know and we can set it up for all of you to do the interview together.

Please keep in mind that we do not look for jobs for anyone who doesn’t have a PIN, or is not in the process of obtaining the PIN or is not planning to obtain one immediately.

Job offers

Discover the latest job openings for nurses in England


How much does a nurse in the UK earn? This is a frequently asked question and can only be answered in general terms. Of course, a nurse with years of experience will always earn more than one who has just recently graduated.

Salaries for nurses in London are usually 20% higher than in the rest of the country due to the fact that the cost of living is much higher. This is the way it is calculated in the public sector as well, according to location. You can expect salaries to vary somewhat based on this factor. In some cases this salary increase is offered with discounts in accommodation which is rented out to hospital personnel and even discounts for other services such as daycare, gyms, pools, etc. It is a way of offering a salary ‘in kind’, which is very common in the UK.

In the UK, nurses make more money working in the private health sector (nursing homes, clinics and exclusive private hospitals) than in the public sector or NHS. In Spain this is the opposite, nurses earn more in the public sector.

The salary for a nurse working in the Public Sector varies according to level. These levels are organized in bands ranging from one to nine. The salary is calculated according to the band you are in. I recommend taking a look at the updated salaries for different levels on the NHS website.

A nurse who has recently graduated and has no experience will belong to band 5. You will  only be able to change bands once you have taken a number of courses provided by the NHS. This means that if you are a nurse with several years of experience working in Spain who chooses to work in the UK, you cannot receive a salary of band 6 or higher until the hospital enables you to do so, even though there are several salary brackets within band 5 that are used in these situations. Of course a nurse who has recently graduated is not evaluated in the same way as a nurse with years of experience under her belt.

The salary for a nurse in the UK private health sector varies according to the number of hours worked per week, 38-42 hours, but they usually pay  10-20% more than the NHS.


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