Overseas Filipino nurses in the UK

Jobs for overseas Filipino nurses in the UK

Around 6,500 healthcare professionals leave the Philippines every year to work overseas. From Australia to Canada, and from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, Filipino nurses work all over the world. In fact, over 22,000 are employed in the UK alone. 

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Did you know?

The world’s first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in the UK by a Filipino nurse. On December 8th 2020, Pinay nurse May Parsons gave Margaret Keenan the first ever Pfizer dose.  

Getting a nursing job in the UK from the Philippines

If you’re a registered nurse in the Philippines you could be eligible to work in the UK. 

In the past, you would have needed at least two years of experience to work for the National Health Service (NHS). Nowadays, it’s possible to get hired upon receiving your nursing licence. However, your first step in becoming an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in the UK healthcare sector is to join an agency.

Need advice on moving to the UK? No worries. Check out Azimo’s guide to moving to the UK. Although it’s written with Thai citizens in mind, it’s full of great tips you can use too. 

UK nursing agencies in the Philippines 

The NHS usually uses agencies in the Philippines to acquire new nurses. That’s because they have years of experience in matching top healthcare professionals with suitable roles in the country. 

The advantage for you is that your application is more likely to be approved if you’ve been evaluated by a trusted partner. As there are hundreds of agencies out there, word of mouth is usually the way to go. Some popular nursing recruitment agencies include:

Whichever you choose, check platforms like LinkedIn and review websites to see what nurses say about each agency. 

Eligibility for NHS roles in the UK for Filipino nurses

Eligibility for NHS roles in the UK for Filipino nurses

Once you’ve registered with an agency, you’ll need to meet the criteria set by the NHS. Requirements are to pass the: 

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Computer-Based Testing (CBT) exam.

While the IELTS is a structured exam that will evaluate your grammar, vocabulary and more, the CBT is an assessment of your medical knowledge. 

After you’ve passed both, you will then submit the results to your agency. The hospital who hired you through the agency will then apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) on your behalf. Once you have your COS, you can apply for your Health and Care worker visa at a VFS Centre in the Philippines. 

Finally, you’ll need to take a third test, which is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). You have to take this test in the UK which means you’ll need to have your visa approved. The OSCE is an examination of the basic skills you need to be a licensed nurse in the UK.

The cost of applying for an NHS job for Filipino nurses 

Although working in the UK comes with life-changing benefits, it’s important to understand the initial investment. The costs include fees for: 

  • The IELTS test – 14,000 PHP (£206).
  • The CBT exam – 7,800 PHP (£115). 
  • The OSCE exam – 53,000 PHP (£792).
  • The Health and Care worker visa – 15,700 PHP (£232) for three years.
  • A TB (Tuberculosis) Test which is about 3,500 PHP (£50).
  • Flights and relocation costs.

You’ll also need at least 86,000 PHP (£1,270) in your bank account showing you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK.

Filipino Nurses Association UK (FNAUK)

The FNAUK was founded during the pandemic to provide a forum for Filipino nurses in the UK. An essential network for Filipino nurses, the Filipino Nurses association has members working for the NHS, in social and private care sectors, and as private nurse entrepreneurs, researchers and academics.

Whether you’re a new or existing nurse in the UK, get notifications about Pinay events, news and more by joining the FNAUK

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