Saturday, July 13, 2024

Step-by-Step Guide for Filipino Nurses Applying for Jobs in the UK

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Nursing is important in the Philippines, contributing to the healthcare system and the population’s overall well-being.

Nursing education in the Philippines typically follows a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. These programs provide comprehensive training in both theoretical knowledge and clinical skills. Nursing students undergo rigorous training in various healthcare settings to develop competence in delivering patient care.

After completing their BSN program, graduates must pass the Nursing Licensure Examination conducted by the Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC). This examination ensures that nurses meet the standards required for practice in the Philippines. Obtaining a license from the PRC is a prerequisite for practicing nursing in the country.

Nurses in the Philippines are integral members of the healthcare team and play a vital role in patient care. They collaborate with other healthcare professionals to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate patient care interventions. Nurses are responsible for delivering quality care, promoting health, preventing illness, and educating individuals and communities about healthcare practices.

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Why is there a high demand for Filipino nurses

The demand for nurses in the Philippines is significant due to several factors:

The healthcare industry in the Philippines is expanding, leading to an increased demand for healthcare professionals, including nurses. Nursing graduates are also employed as sales representatives for pharmaceutical or medical equipment companies, hold hospital administrative roles, work in clinics and community health centers, or choose to become educators themselves.

The Philippines has a large population with diverse healthcare needs, requiring adequate nurses to ensure comprehensive care delivery.

The demand for Filipino nurses extends beyond the Philippines, with many countries, particularly those with aging populations, seeking qualified healthcare professionals from abroad.

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Why many nurses seek overseas employment

  • Better economic opportunities: Working abroad often offers higher salaries and better benefits than the compensation available in the Philippines. Nurses seek financial stability and improved opportunities to support their families and personal aspirations.
  • Professional growth and development: Working abroad provides opportunities for professional growth, exposure to advanced healthcare technologies and practices, and access to specialized training and certifications. Nurses can expand their knowledge, skills, and experience, enhancing their career prospects.
  • Quality of life: Many nurses aspire to work abroad for the potential for a better quality of life. This includes improved working conditions, better healthcare infrastructure and resources, and access to a higher standard of living.
  • Cultural exposure and experience: Working abroad allows nurses to experience different cultures, interact with diverse patient populations, and gain a broader perspective on healthcare systems. This exposure enhances their cultural competence and expands their professional horizons. Working abroad also enables nurses to build networks with international healthcare professionals, facilitating knowledge exchange, collaboration, and professional connections on a global scale.

While various factors drive the desire to work abroad, the migration of nurses can contribute to the shortage of healthcare professionals in the Philippines. Efforts are being made to address this issue by improving working conditions, enhancing education and training programs, and creating opportunities for career advancement within the country.

What makes the UK an attractive destination for Filipino nurses

  • High demand for nurses: The UK has been experiencing a shortage of nurses in recent years, creating a high demand for healthcare professionals. This demand provides abundant job opportunities for Filipino nurses seeking employment in the UK.
  • Competitive salaries and benefits: UK nursing salaries are generally higher than nurses earn in the Philippines. Additionally, the UK offers comprehensive benefits packages, including healthcare coverage, pension plans, and paid holidays, which appeal to Filipino nurses.
  • Career progression and development: The UK healthcare system provides structured career progression pathways for nurses. Filipino nurses can benefit from opportunities for professional growth, such as pursuing specialization, taking on leadership roles, or accessing further education and training.
  • International recognition: Nursing qualifications from the Philippines are generally recognized in the UK, making it easier for Filipino nurses to apply for registration and work as qualified nurses in the country. The UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) assesses the qualifications of internationally trained nurses and allows them to work in the UK if they meet the required standards.
  • Multicultural and inclusive environment: The UK is known for its multicultural society and has a diverse healthcare workforce. Filipino nurses often find a welcoming and inclusive environment that promotes diversity and appreciates the contributions of international healthcare professionals.
  • Quality healthcare system: The UK has a well-established and respected healthcare system, which allows Filipino nurses to work in a setting known for high standards of patient care and professional practice. Exposure to advanced medical technologies and best practices can enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Cultural and language affinity: English is widely spoken in the Philippines. Filipino nurses are generally proficient in it, making it easier to communicate and integrate into the UK healthcare system. The cultural similarities and shared historical ties between the two countries also contribute to a sense of familiarity for Filipino nurses.
  • Opportunity for overseas experience: Working in the UK provides Filipino nurses with valuable international experience. This experience can enhance their professional growth, increase their marketability, and open up further opportunities for career advancement, both in the UK and back in the Philippines.

Understanding the UK healthcare system to increase competitive advantage

Researching the UK healthcare system and work environment is crucial for Filipino nurses aspiring to work in the UK. Understanding the system and environment helps prepare for the transition and adapt to the UK healthcare context.

National Health Service (NHS) Structure

The NHS is the primary healthcare provider in the UK. It is important to understand the structure and organization of the NHS, including its various departments, regional divisions, and service delivery models.

Healthcare Policies and Protocols

Familiarize yourself with the key healthcare policies, protocols, and guidelines followed in the UK. This includes understanding patient rights, confidentiality, infection control measures, medication management, and documentation standards.

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Roles and Hierarchies

Learn about the different healthcare roles and hierarchies within the UK system. Understand the responsibilities of various professionals, including doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, and allied healthcare professionals. This knowledge will help you navigate the multidisciplinary team dynamics.
Quality and Safety Standards: Explore the quality and safety standards implemented in the UK healthcare system. This includes understanding patient safety initiatives, clinical governance frameworks, and the culture of continuous quality improvement.

Clinical Practices and Guidelines

Gain knowledge about evidence-based practice guidelines specific to the UK. This includes understanding clinical assessment tools, care pathways, and treatment protocols commonly used in different clinical specialties.

Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems

Familiarize yourself with the electronic health record systems used in the UK. Understand how to navigate and document patient information within these systems, as they are widely utilized for efficient healthcare delivery and data management.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Research the ethical and legal frameworks that guide healthcare practice in the UK. Familiarize yourself with the principles of patient autonomy, informed consent, and end-of-life care’s ethical considerations.

Work Environment and Culture

Gain insights into the work environment and culture within the UK healthcare system. This includes understanding professional etiquette, communication styles, teamwork dynamics, and the importance of patient-centered care.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Opportunities

Explore the available CPD opportunities in the UK, including conferences, workshops, and training programs. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for maintaining professional registration and engaging in lifelong learning.

Resources and Support: Identify reputable sources of information such as official government websites, professional nursing associations, and healthcare journals. These resources will provide up-to-date information on policies, guidelines, and best practices in the UK healthcare system.

Filipino nurses who undergo thorough research on the UK healthcare system and work environment can gain valuable knowledge and insights that will aid in successfully integrating and delivering high-quality care in the UK.

Resume tips for UK nursing job applicants

Building a competitive resume and cover letter is essential for standing out among other candidates during the job application process.


  • Tailor it to the job: Customize your resume for each position you apply for. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the job requirements.
  • Professional Summary: Include a concise and compelling professional summary at the beginning of your resume to provide a snapshot of your qualifications and career goals.
    Clear format and structure: Use a clean, organized format with clear headings and bullet points. Ensure readability by using appropriate font size and spacing.
  • Relevant sections: Include sections such as education, work experience, skills, certifications, and professional affiliations. Emphasize experiences showcasing your nursing skills, patient care abilities, and specialized training.
  • Quantify achievements: Whenever possible, quantify your achievements to provide measurable results. For example, mention the number of patients you cared for, the percentage of improved patient outcomes, or any awards or recognitions received.
  • Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords from the job description to help your resume pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and catch the attention of hiring managers.
  • Proofread: Thoroughly proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors. Consider seeking feedback from a trusted colleague or mentor.

Cover Letter

  • Address the hiring manager: Whenever possible, address the cover letter to the specific hiring manager or recruiter. If the name is not provided, try to find out by researching or contacting the organization.
  • Opening paragraph: Start with a strong opening paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states your purpose for applying. Mention the specific position you’re applying for and briefly highlight your qualifications.
  • Showcase relevant experiences: Expand on your resume’s key experiences and skills, providing more context and examples of how you demonstrated them in your previous roles. Use specific examples to illustrate your capabilities.
  • Align with the organization you are applying for: Research the organization and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of its mission, values, and goals. Explain how your skills and experiences align with their needs and how you can contribute to their success.
  • Highlight your achievements: Focus on notable achievements or contributions you made in previous roles that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Use metrics, if possible, to quantify your accomplishments.
  • Professional tone and language: Maintain a professional tone throughout the cover letter. Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or unnecessary technical terms. Proofread carefully for any errors.
  • Closing paragraph: End the cover letter by expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the organization. Include your contact information and availability for an interview, if necessary.

Remember, your resume and cover letter should be well-crafted and tailored to the job you’re applying for. They should highlight your relevant qualifications, experiences, and achievements while showcasing your passion and commitment to nursing.

Nursing and Midwifery Council registration

Securing registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is crucial for Filipino nurses who want to work in the UK.

Eligibility Assessment

  • Check requirements: Review the NMC’s eligibility requirements to ensure that you meet the necessary criteria. This includes having completed a recognized nursing qualification in your home country.
  • Language proficiency: Demonstrate English proficiency by taking an approved English language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET). Achieve the minimum required scores set by the NMC.

Application Submission:

  • Online application: Complete the NMC’s online application form, providing accurate personal and professional details.
  • Documentation submission: Prepare and submit required documents, including proof of identity, qualification certificates, and registration verification from the nursing regulatory body in your home country. Ensure that all documents meet the NMC’s guidelines for authenticity and translation if required.
  • Fee payment: Pay the application fee as specified by the NMC. Keep a record of the payment confirmation.

CBT (Computer-Based Test)
The CBT, run by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, is intended to assess the knowledge and competency of international nurses, especially Filipino nurses, in many areas of nursing practice.

  • Book the CBT: Once your application is accepted, you will receive an invitation to book the CBT. Schedule your test date and location through the NMC’s designated test provider.
  • Preparation: Prepare for the CBT by studying the NMC’s Test of Competence framework and accessing relevant study materials and practice questions.
  • CBT exam: On the scheduled date, sit for the CBT, which assesses your theoretical nursing knowledge and understanding. The test consists of multiple-choice questions and is typically held at approved test centers.

OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)

  • Eligibility for OSCE: If you pass the CBT, you become eligible to proceed to the OSCE. Await further instructions from the NMC regarding the OSCE process.
  • Prepare for the OSCE by familiarizing yourself with the NMC’s OSCE blueprint and practicing clinical scenarios. Review essential nursing skills, patient assessment, medication administration, and communication techniques.
  • OSCE exam: Attend the OSCE exam at the designated test center. This practical examination assesses your clinical skills through simulated scenarios, demonstrating safe and effective nursing practice.

Decision and registration:

  • Decision notification: After completing the OSCE, you will receive a decision from the NMC regarding your registration outcome.
  • Registration and PIN: If successful, you will be granted registration with the NMC and issued a Personal Identification Number (PIN). This PIN is required for employment as a nurse in the UK.

It’s important to note that the process and requirements may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to consult the NMC’s official website for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, ensure that you allow sufficient time for each stage of the registration process and prepare thoroughly to increase your chances of success.

Exploring nursing job vacancies in the UK

Exploring employment opportunities in the UK for Filipino nurses involves several steps to navigate the job market effectively.

Research and familiarization

  • Understand the UK healthcare system: Research the structure, policies, and regulations of the UK healthcare system, including the National Health Service (NHS). Familiarize yourself with the different job roles, specialties, and work settings within the UK healthcare sector.
  • Identify potential employers: Research hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and healthcare organizations in the UK that may be hiring nurses. Explore their websites, job portals, and career pages to gather information about available positions, requirements, and application processes.
  • Consider location preferences: Determine if you have any specific location preferences within the UK. Consider factors such as the cost of living, lifestyle, and proximity to amenities or Filipino communities.
  • Assessing Eligibility and Requirements:
    Review immigration and visa requirements: Understand the UK immigration rules and visa requirements for foreign nurses. Check the official UK government websites for the most up-to-date information on visa categories, sponsorship requirements, and eligibility criteria.
  • Evaluate language proficiency: Ensure you meet the English language proficiency requirements for working as a nurse in the UK. This typically involves taking an approved English language test such as IELTS or OET and achieving the minimum required scores.

Networking and professional connections

Explore professional nursing associations and networks in the UK and those specifically catering to Filipino healthcare professionals. Participate in events, seminars, and conferences to build connections and gain insights into the job market.

Use professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to connect with UK-based nurses, recruiters, and healthcare organizations. Join relevant groups and discussions to expand your network and gain industry insights.

Job search and application

Browse reputable job portals and websites specializing in UK healthcare and nursing jobs. Utilize search filters to narrow down your options based on location, specialty, and experience level.

  1. NHS Jobs ( This is the official job site for the UK National Health Service. It features numerous nursing vacancies nationwide in NHS hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities.
  2. Reed ( Reed is a well-known UK job site listing various job opportunities, including nursing positions. Its user-friendly interface allows you to search for nursing jobs based on location, specialization, and experience level.
  3. Indeed ( Indeed is a widely used job search engine that aggregates job listings from various sources, including hospitals, recruitment agencies, and direct employers. You can find a comprehensive range of nursing jobs on this platform by using specific keywords and filters.
  4. Totaljobs ( Totaljobs is another popular job site that covers a broad spectrum of industries, including healthcare and nursing. It provides a dedicated section for nursing jobs, allowing you to refine your search based on location, salary, and contract type.
  5. Nursing Times Jobs ( Nursing Times Jobs is a specialized job site catering specifically to nursing professionals. It features a wide range of nursing vacancies across different specialties and provides resources and career advice for nurses.
  6. Healthjobs UK ( Healthjobs UK is a platform that advertises healthcare-related jobs, including nursing positions. It offers a comprehensive database of NHS and private healthcare providers vacancies.

Attend job fairs and recruitment events

Watch for job fairs, recruitment events, and career exhibitions focusing on UK healthcare and nursing opportunities. These events provide opportunities to meet potential employers, learn about job openings, and submit applications.

Application and interview process

The application and interview process for nursing positions in the UK typically involves several stages.

Application submission

  • Prepare application materials: Tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications.
  • Complete online application forms: Many healthcare organizations require applicants to complete online application forms. Provide accurate and detailed information about your education, work experience, and professional certifications.

Initial screening

  • Resume/CV review: The hiring team will review your resume/CV to assess your qualifications and experience. Ensure that your application showcases your relevant skills and achievements.
  • Eligibility check: The employer may verify your eligibility to work in the UK, including immigration status, visa requirements, and language proficiency.

Interview invitation

Phone or video interview: The first interview may be conducted over the phone or through a video call. It serves as an initial assessment of your suitability for the position. Prepare for this interview as you would for an in-person interview.

In-Person or panel interview

  • Prepare for the interview: Research the organization, familiarize yourself with the role, and anticipate potential interview questions. Review your nursing knowledge, clinical skills, and relevant experiences.
  • Dress professionally: Present yourself neatly and professionally, wearing appropriate attire for an interview.
  • Showcase your skills and experiences: During the interview, provide specific examples demonstrating your nursing expertise, problem-solving abilities, and patient-centered approach.
  • Highlight teamwork and communication: Emphasize your ability to work well in a multidisciplinary team and effectively communicate with patients, families, and colleagues.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence: Show an understanding and appreciation for diversity and cultural sensitivity in healthcare delivery.
  • Ask questions: Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer(s) about the role, the work environment, and the organization. This demonstrates your interest and engagement.

Skills assessment:

  • Practical skills assessment: Some employers may require a practical skills assessment to evaluate your clinical competence. Be prepared to demonstrate your nursing skills, such as medication administration, wound care, or patient assessment.
  • OSCE exam: If you have already completed the OSCE as part of the NMC registration process, you may be asked to provide evidence of your successful completion.
    Reference Checks:
  • Employer references: The employer may contact your previous employers or supervisors to verify your work experience, performance, and character.

Interview and job offer

  • Prepare for interviews: Familiarize yourself with standard interview formats and questions in the UK nursing job market. Practice your responses to showcase your skills, experiences, and suitability for the role. Research the organization beforehand to demonstrate your interest and knowledge.
  • Visa sponsorship and documentation: If offered a job, work with your potential employer to understand the visa sponsorship process and the required documentation. Ensure that you fulfill all the requirements to obtain the required visa to work in the UK.

Remember to stay proactive, persistent, and patient throughout the process. Building a strong professional network, continuously upgrading your skills, and staying up-to-date with industry trends can enhance your chances of securing employment opportunities in the UK as a Filipino nurse.

Job offer and negotiation

If successful, you may receive a job offer from the employer. Review the terms and conditions of the offer, including salary, benefits, working hours, and any contractual obligations. If necessary, professionally negotiate these terms.

Visa application for successful job interviews and employment offer

The visa application and relocation process for Filipino nurses moving to the UK involves several steps.

Visa category selection

  • Determine the appropriate visa category: Explore the available visa options to work in the UK as a nurse. Common options include the Tier 2 (General) Work Visa or the Skilled Worker Visa.
  • Review eligibility criteria: Understand the specific requirements, including education, work experience, English language proficiency, and sponsorship by a UK employer.

Sponsorship and Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

  • Employer sponsorship: Secure a job offer from a UK employer who is licensed to sponsor skilled workers. The employer will issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to support your visa application.
  • CoS details: Ensure the CoS includes accurate information about your role, salary, and start date. The employer will provide you with a reference number necessary for your application.

Visa Application

  • Online application: Submit an online visa application through the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. Provide all required personal, employment, and immigration information.
  • Supporting documents: Prepare and submit supporting documents, which may include your passport, CoS, proof of English language proficiency, education certificates, and financial documents.
  • Biometrics appointment: Schedule an appointment at a visa application center to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photographs).
  • Application fee: Pay the visa application fee, which varies depending on the visa category and duration of stay. Additionally, you may need to pay the healthcare surcharge (IHS) to access the UK’s National Health Service.

Visa processing

  • Waiting period: Await a decision on your visa application. The processing time can vary, so check the UKVI website for estimated processing times.
  • Additional documentation or interview: In some cases, you may be required to provide additional documents or attend an interview to support your application.

Visa Approval and travel

  • Visa decision: Once your visa application is approved, you will receive your visa vignette in your passport or a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card, which serves as your legal permission to enter and work in the UK.
  • Travel arrangements: Make travel arrangements, including booking flights, organizing accommodations, and considering any necessary logistics for relocating to the UK.

Relocation arrangements

  • Accommodation: Secure suitable accommodation in the UK through employer-provided options or by independently finding housing.
  • Healthcare registration: Register with a local General Practitioner (GP) and obtain necessary healthcare documentation, such as a National Insurance Number and NHS card.
  • Settling in: Familiarize yourself with the local area, healthcare facilities, transportation, and other essential services. Open a bank account and set up utilities as needed.
    It’s important to note that immigration and visa regulations may change, so it’s advisable to consult the official UK government website or seek professional advice for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, starting the visa application process well in advance is recommended to allow for any unexpected delays or requirements.

Upon arrival in the UK, Filipino nurses typically participate in orientation and induction programs to familiarize themselves with their new workplace and adapt to the healthcare system. These programs provide essential information, support, and training to ensure a smooth transition and integration into the UK healthcare environment. Here’s an overview of what to expect during orientation and induction:

Welcome and introduction

  • Introduction to the organization: You will be introduced to key personnel, including managers, supervisors, and colleagues. They will provide an overview of the organization’s mission, values, policies, and procedures.
  • Orientation materials: You will receive information packs or handbooks containing essential details about the organization, its services, and the expectations for your role.
    Workplace Policies and Procedures:
  • Health and safety protocols: You will be briefed on health and safety guidelines specific to your workplace, including infection control measures, manual handling, and emergency procedures.
  • Confidentiality and data protection: Understand the importance of patient confidentiality, data protection, and the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with handling sensitive information.
  • Documentation and record-keeping: Learn about the organization’s documentation and record-keeping requirements, including electronic health records and relevant documentation systems.

UK Healthcare System

  • Overview of the NHS: Understand the structure, functions, and services provided by the National Health Service (NHS), including primary care, secondary care, and specialized services.
  • NHS values and principles: Learn about the core values of the NHS, such as patient-centered care, equality, and diversity, and how they shape healthcare delivery in the UK.

Cultural Competence and Communication

  • Cultural awareness: Develop an awareness of cultural diversity and the importance of cultural competence in providing patient care. Understand the needs and preferences of diverse patient populations.
  • Effective communication: Enhance your communication skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, and professional interactions with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.

Clinical Systems and Processes

  • Familiarization with clinical systems: Receive training on the electronic health record systems, medication management systems, and other clinical technologies used in the organization.
  • Workflows and processes: Understand the organization’s workflows, care pathways, and standard operating procedures for delivering patient care, including assessments, care planning, and documentation.

Professional Development and Support

  • Continuing professional development: Learn about opportunities for professional development, such as training programs, workshops, and conferences, to enhance your nursing knowledge and skills.
  • Mentorship and preceptorship: Some organizations may assign you a mentor or preceptor who will guide and support you during your initial period of employment.
  • Employee support services: Discover the available support services, such as employee assistance programs, counseling services, and staff well-being initiatives.

Role-specific Training

If you work in a specialized area, such as intensive care, pediatrics, or mental health, you may receive additional training specific to your role and the patient population you will be caring for.

The duration and content of orientation and induction programs can vary among healthcare organizations. It’s important to actively participate, ask questions, and seek clarification during these programs to ensure a smooth transition and integration into your new work environment in the UK.


Navigating the step-by-step application process for nursing employment in the UK necessitates meticulous planning and attention to detail. Each step is critical in gaining your desired career, from comprehending the essential qualifications and registration criteria to showing your abilities and expertise in the application paperwork. Furthermore, being familiar with the Computer-Based Test (CBT) and rigorously preparing for it can considerably improve your chances of success.

You can embark on an exciting road towards a happy career as a Filipino nurse in the United Kingdom by leveraging trustworthy job sites and resources and demonstrating your enthusiasm for nursing and commitment to high-quality patient care. Remember that perseverance, thoroughness, and ongoing self-improvement are important factors that might contribute to a successful outcome in your search for UK nursing jobs.

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