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Working in Nursing and Midwifery for NHSScotland – start your journey today!

We are delighted you are interested in becoming a registered nurse or midwife in Scotland. No matter what stage you are on your journey, we have all the information to help you make the move.

Being a nurse and midwife in NHSScotland

When you work as a nurse or midwife for the NHS in Scotland, you are a very important part of a patients care. You will be working in a multi-disciplinary team, supporting patients in a vital role that helps them to understand information whilst responding to patient’s needs. Your key role will be delivering person-centred, effective and safe care. As a champion for all patients and a highly skilled healthcare professional, you will combine compassion with clinical leadership, taking responsibility for the high-quality care you provide.

Being a nurse and midwife in the NHS in Scotland means working in a variety of diverse environments, carrying out varied, complex and skilled tasks. You can enjoy a wide-ranging and rewarding career, full of development opportunities that make a real difference to people’s lives.


You will need to have your CV detailed with all experience, employment history, training and qualifications. You will need to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (the NMC) and pass the necessary tests, there is lots of information and support to help you with this. You can find out more on the NMC tests here.

You will be employed directly by the NHS Health Board that you apply to, whether you make an application directly to one of their advertised posts or via an agency in your country of residence. The employing Health Board and agency (if applicable) will support you with your Health and Care Visa application and the move to Scotland.

What NHSScotland has to offer you

NHSScotland has a lot to offer and will make sure you have the support needed to take the next step in your journey to working as a nurse or midwife in Scotland. We’ll also make sure you have everything you need to travel to Scotland, where you will work as a valuable part of the team.

NHSScotland does offer relocation support, this can vary from Board to Board so it is important that you check what support your employing Board can provide but it often includes:

  • funded English language test (IELTS or OET)
  • help with applying and paying for your Visa
  • support with applying and paying for your NMC eligibility and qualification application
  • funded part 1 NMC test of competence the NMC computer based test (CBT)
  • paid flight to Scotland
  • help to settle in upon arrival in Scotland (e.g., setting up bank accounts)
  • funded accommodation for initial period after arrival
  • funded part 2 NMC test of competence the NMC Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • funded NMC registration fee

All Boards offer the same great benefits to their NHSScotland staff including:

  • a competitive pay and benefits package
  • generous annual leave
  • good pension entitlements
  • continuing professional development opportunities 

You can visit the NHSScotland Management Steering Group website to find out more about terms and conditions and pay.

Eligibility and the application process

Ready to join us? To become a registered nurse or midwife in the UK you can first complete the pre-application check list to find out what you need with the NMC here.

To help you with this, the NMC have a step-by-step guide on completing your NMC application.

6 Steps to becoming a Nurse or Midwife in Scotland

Whether you decide to apply to one of our NHS Health Board adverts or go via one of the International Recruitment agencies in your home country, below are the 6 steps to becoming a nurse or midwife in NHSScotland.

If you apply directly to an NHS Scotland Board, you will most likely have your interview virtually. If you’re successful in your interview either directly or via an international recruitment agency, you’ll receive a conditional offer letter from your employing Board, this letter will outline the next steps.

Before you start your journey, if you have not already sat the necessary English language test you will need to ensure you take this. This is an essential part of gaining your NMC registration and right to work in the UK (visa).

You don’t always have to do this before you apply for your role, it depends on the Board advert you apply to, or the agency you join, but you will need this before you are offered an unconditional offer letter and can arrive in the UK.

You need to pass either the OET or IELTS with the following score:

  • Occupational English Test (OET) – score of C+ in writing and B in listening, speaking and reading
  • English Language Test System (IELTS) – IELTS Academic each section should be at least: 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking
  • Combining scores is accepted if taken within 6 months and no individual score must be below: 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ (OET)

Once you have passed the NMC eligibility assessment you will be able to sit your CBT (computer-based test). You can take this test in a number of overseas locations. You will take this test before arriving in the UK.

After you have passed your CBT and the NMC has verified your documents we are able to sponsor you to come to the UK.

Once you have passed your English language test, CBT and NMC verification, your employing Board will apply for your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with the UK Visa and Immigration authority (UKVI) and a reference number will be assigned to you.

Once you receive your CoS reference number you will need to apply for your Health and Care visa which in most cases will be paid for by your employing Board. You can find out more information on the visa process here:

Once your visa application is approved, a copy must be emailed to the Board, travel can then be arranged.

When you arrive in the UK you will need to collect your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) confirming you are entitled to work in the UK. This will be issued to you within 10 days of you arriving.

You need to submit your BRP, and your original ID documents to the recruitment department of the NHS Board you will be working for. We will help you to arrange a UK bank account and set up your pay.

When you arrive in Scotland, you will be working as a Band 4 pre-registered nurse or midwife until you pass your NMC Test of Competence Part 2: objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), within 8 months of your arrival. Your first OSCE attempt must be taken within 12 weeks of your arrival or start date.

Your Board will help you through this exam with lots of training and support. To find out more visit the NMC website here.

Once you have successfully passed your OSCE you will have gained full NMC registration and can now work as a registered Band 5 or above nurse or midwife in the UK. Congratulations! You can visit the NHS Scotland Academy for OSCE preparation support here.

You can also find out what support there is to settle into life in Scotland here.

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Working in Scotland

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