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Information for overseas nursing staff and students coming to the UK

This page contains helpful information for those studying or working abroad, but planning to come to the UK.  As the world’s largest nursing trade union and professional body, the RCN is here to support you when you arrive in the UK.

There are lots of things to think about before moving to the UK for work or study. Our advice guide for overseas nursing staff and students covers all the essentials, including:

  • employment contracts in the UK
  • work experience and examinations
  • bringing your family with you
  • the UK health system and NMC

Going on maternity leave or taking a career break? Switch your membership to save money and stay protected. 

Advice Guide

Advice guide for overseas nursing staff and students.

Journey of an internationally educated nurse short film series

As the number of internationally educated nursing staff (IENS) coming to work in the UK continues to rise, this series of short films highlights some of the unique stories from our IEN members as they reflect on their journey to, and experience of living in the UK.
The RCN in conversation with internationally educated nurses
	Two staff members at the London Chest Hospital

International nursing members support

Download our infographic and learn more about RCN support for internationally educated nursing staff.

Case studies

See how we have recently helped one of our international members.
Male nurse smiling

International nursing members

There is a separate page for those already in the UK.

What is a trade union?

Find out what the role of trade unions is and why you should join the world's largest trade union for nursing.

Diversity and inclusion

Discover how the RCN champions equality, inclusion and human rights issues.

Become a member of the RCN

Join the world's largest union and professional body for nursing.

You can join the RCN once you’ve arrived in the UK and have secured a contract of employment for your nursing role within the UK.

Join online or call our membership team on 0345 772 6100.

Nurses walking down the corridor