Moving to the UK

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My experience moving to the UK as a Nurse

Person exploring Wales, UK


Moving abroad to pursue a career can seem daunting, but with the right preparation and support to help you along the way, going abroad for the right opportunities can be a life-changing experience. Madhu made the move in September 2021, arriving from India to work as a theatre nurse in the NHS in Wales. After several months into his new job, we asked Madhu some questions about his experience and how he found the move:

Did you have to take any tests or exams before moving to the UK?

“Before moving to the UK, I had to meet some eligibility criteria. First of all, you need to take an English language proficiency test and I would advise preparing for this because it is quite challenging. Then there’s also a computer-based test, which is part of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Test of Competence. It involves a numeracy test, objective questions and a theory test.”

What do you like most about living and working in the UK?

“The biggest thing I have noticed is how friendly everyone I work with is. I feel very welcomed and supported, and people are always willing to help me. I feel right at home.”

What were some of the challenges you faced when you first arrived?

“When I arrived, the weather was quite sunny. But after a few months it became cloudy and cold, so I would say the weather was a challenge! I work in Wales, so I also sometimes find it a little difficult to understand the accent, but everyone is always very friendly.”

How did you find your first week of working in the NHS? What were your first impressions?

“My first impression of working in the NHS was that it is well managed and supported by lots of people who are all working very hard to make sure everything follows policies and procedures. Once I had passed my exams and was able to begin my new job in the UK, I arrived at the theatre where I would be working to meet my manager who explained the processes to follow. I settled in quickly.”

What are some of the main differences between working in the UK and working in India?

“I worked in a public hospital in India and it was a bit different. Two nurses had to look after a lot of patients which meant it was harder to give good care to each one. Here there are policies that help you provide good care to all your patients.

Even though I had never worked in theatre in the UK, everyone was always very supportive and taught me how to assist and develop my skills. It’s a very welcoming environment.

Also, there is a difference in salary. Public hospitals in India pay a decent salary but private hospitals don’t pay as well. The salary in the NHS is better.”

Finally, what was your experience working with Medacs?

“Once I had passed my English test, I contacted Medacs and they helped me find the right job. I was in touch with my agent throughout who encouraged me to take the interview and helped me prepare. Then, once I got the job, the agent sent me the confirmation letter.

I actually had to stay in quarantine on arrival in the UK as I had a problem with my Covid test, so I had to spend £200 on a new test. You have to pay many of the fees associated with your application to work in the UK up front, and then, on arrival, these costs are reimbursed. Medacs covered the cost of the new Covid test, and they didn’t deduct the cost from my reimbursement.

Medacs is a very knowledgeable and helpful agency, and they really supported me through the application and interview process. Moving country can be very tricky, but Medacs helped guide me through.”


Person exploring Wales, UK


What’s next for your career?

If you’re thinking about moving to the UK to pursue a career as a nurse, Medacs can help. Start your journey by submitting your details or by finding out more about how we can help you move to the UK.

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