Australian in the UK: Secrets to Thriving as an International Travel Nurse Revealed!

Charlotte Miller

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A career in medicine has been in high demand for several years now. Those who choose to work in this branch enjoy caring for others, healing them, and providing the best health care to them. In case you already work as a nurse in Australia but want more challenges, you can apply to continue your nursing career in the United Kingdom.

This country has an increased need for medical staff, and Australia is known for excellent healthcare and the quality of medical services. Not only that; the Travel Nurse UK program allows you to travel Europe from the UK while doing your job. So you combine the beautiful and the useful and enjoy travelling while doing the work you love.

The job of a travel nurse is about going and working in medical facilities with a staff shortage. You will fill short-term personnel gaps caused by an increase in the work volume, a drop in the number of skilled workers, etc. It can be challenging, but it’s very fulfilling and looks great on your resume. So, if that sounds tempting, we give you some guidelines if you decide to work as a nurse in the UK.

Where to Start?

The initial assumption is that you have already worked or are currently working as a nurse in Australia, and now you’re looking for a new career challenge. The UK seems like a dream destination where you can settle and then travel all over Europe doing what you do best. Apart from the fact that you can enjoy a bit of vacation feeling and get to know new destinations, you also have the chance to improve your knowledge through practice in different medical institutions.

The first thing you need to determine is which path you’ll take. Certainly, no language barrier makes things much easier, even if you decide to go on this adventure alone. Thus, you can search for a job online by browsing open positions in UK medical facilities. You can try medical forums, social media, ads, or directly contacting medical facilities and practices that interest you,

If you don’t find what you need or don’t have time to research job offers all alone, you can leave that task to one of the recruiting agencies specialized for overseas employment. You can choose Australian or UK-based agencies, as they work by the same principle.


After you’ve decided which way to go, your next step is to take the test in Australia (if you go through an agency, they will explain the next steps in detail). It’s computer-based and online and serves as a competency check for nursing work. Passability is high because the test doesn’t require special preparation, of course, if you already have the necessary knowledge and practice in nursing.

When you get results, you can go to the UK. After arriving, you can start working, provided you have applied and been accepted as a registered nurse from Australia but a pre-registered candidate for working in the UK. In that case, you must take the OSCE test at an authorized UK test centre within three months of your arrival.

You can find more details on this test at the following source:

What is an OSCE? | OSCE overview | Geeky Medics

OSCE isn’t a classic test that requires questions and answers from you. Instead, it’s more of a simulation of handling certain situations from nursing practice. It examines your communication and clinical skills in caring for patients, assessing and evaluating their needs, etc. After you pass it, you get a Nurse and Midwife Certificate. In case you fail, you can resit the OSCE no more than three times within a single application.

Apply for Visa

Medical staff is in short supply in the UK, so nursing is high on the Shortage Occupation List. The demand for qualified nurses is very high, so the visa process for them is eased. Australians are at an advantage when getting employment and visas for the UK, mostly because of the similarities between these two NHSs, education systems, and language.

After you pass OSCE and get NMC, you can apply for a visa. If you plan to stay in the UK longer, you’ll need a Skilled Worker Visa, the most common route most Australian workers in the UK take. This is the case if you are employer-sponsored. In case you come to the UK and only then start looking for a job, you can apply for a 6-month visitor visa, for starters, then extend your stay with a work visa.

To apply, as said, you need a Certificate of Sponsorship from your prospective employer. Then, you have to prove a high level of English proficiency, enough funds for starters, and an annual salary of at least £30,000. Once approved, the visa is valid for five years, and you can renew it as necessary.

The good thing is that, in case you go through an agency, you’re all set with accommodation, meals, test prep, etc. But even when you go alone in the UK, there is a great chance to find an employer willing to cover these costs, even until you officially start working.

The UK is a land of opportunity for medical staff, and Australian nurses are more than welcome. If your long-life dream is to go there and pursue your career in medicine, becoming a travel nurse is a giant leap toward fulfilling your dreams.