There’s a lot to consider for qualified international nurses and doctors thinking of relocating to the UK. A major consideration is whether you will work in the public or private sector. Working for the NHS is an attractive option for many, which is why its workforce is so wonderfully diverse and multicultural – reflective of the UK population itself.
The NHS actively welcomes professionally qualified doctors and nurses from outside the UK and there are many benefits to choosing this employer.
1. Working for the largest employer in the UK
With over 1.3 million employees, the NHS is the largest employer in the UK. By working for the NHS, you can enjoy job security knowing that you are working for a well-established organisation which has been around since 1948. You can also enjoy the prestige of working for an institution which is known and respected worldwide and is something of a national treasure in the UK, providing healthcare services which are free at the point of use for all UK residents. Having such a renowned organisation on your CV will be an asset which opens opportunities in the future, should you eventually choose to move on.
2. Manageable work hours
The NHS is an organisation which genuinely recognises the importance of a healthy work-life balance, having taken measures to ensure all its employees can benefit from increased flexibility and manageable working hours. Introduced back in 2000, the Improving Working Lives Initiative has helped to boost morale and reduce stress amongst the NHS workforce. Within the NHS, there are many opportunities for working part-time, term-time only or shifts that fit around your commitments. International nurses can also enjoy a standard working week of 37.5 hours, with the flexibility to choose whether to work overtime at enhanced pay rates.
3. Excellent pay and benefits
By working for the NHS, you can benefit from competitive salaries which reflect your level of training and experience. For example, even newly qualified nurses earn in excess of £22,000 which will afford a comfortable life in the UK. Pay scales reward enhanced knowledge and experience, with experienced consultants able to earn over £100,000 a year.
As well as the excellent pay, the NHS offers its staff an attractive benefits package including a pension scheme which is the most generous in the UK. You can also expect to benefit from a holiday entitlement which begins at 27 days per year plus 8 public holidays, rising with service up to 33 days after 10 years. NHS staff enjoy pay enhancements rewarding overtime, out of hours and shift working. You will also benefit from access to occupational health services, such as counselling, to support your wellbeing. Those raising families can get support with childcare and have the opportunity to take extended breaks, where needed, to look after children or other dependents who need their care, without having to worry about the security of their job.
4. Training and development opportunities
The NHS is renowned for investing in its employees and supporting their professional development. Choosing to relocate to the UK to work for the NHS is a smart career move with opportunities for future progression into more senior roles with higher salaries. You will have access to additional training, funded by your employer. Every NHS employee is encouraged to progress through the Knowledge and Skills Framework and you will benefit from an annual review and development plan which supports your aspirations.
5. Help with relocation
If you’re thinking of relocating to the UK to work for the NHS as an EU nurse, help is available. You can get support with finding vacancies, exam preparation and meeting compliance with the employer. You can also get help obtaining a visa and financial support to help you relocate. To make the move as easy as possible, Health Conex can also offer support with airport collections when you first arrive and initial accommodation to allow you time to settle in and find your feet.
If you want to find out more about relocating to the UK to work for the NHS, contact us today for more information or comprehensive support with our International recruitment process.