If you’re a nurse practitioner with an international bent, then you’re in luck. Over the next few weeks we’re looking at how NPs certified in the United States can practice in other countries. In many cases, the role of nurse practitioners is not as closely defined in other nations, so NPs may find the transition a difficult one to grasp. But, if your heart is set on practicing internationally, we’re here to tell you how. Today, let’s look at how U.S. certified nurse practitioners can practice in the United Kingdom.
The Role of Nurse Practitioners in the United Kingdom
Referred to as advanced practice nurses or advanced nurse practitioners, the UK defines a nurse practitioner as a level of practice and does not recognize it as it’s own role or job title; though ANPs do have autonomy and prescribing authority. The nursing and midwifery profession is regulated by the Nursing and Midwives Council (NMC), which sets the standards of education, training, conduct and performance across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Despite the nurse practitioner role being introduced nearly three decades ago, it was only in the last few years that the NMC set forth the required competencies for the profession and the country continues working towards improving its standardization and definition of the NP profession.
Certification and Licensure
All nurses practicing in the UK are required to register with the Nursing and Midwives Council. If you are a nurse practitioner certified as an NP in the United States, there are several requirements that you must first meet before you can begin the application process for registration.
The requirements include having at least one year of experience as a nurse or a nurse practitioner, in the field in which you wish to practice. You must also hold a current license without any restrictions in the state in which you have been practicing; as well as show licensure for any other states or countries where you may have worked.
Next, you will need to complete an online self-assessment of your eligibility to apply before beginning the application process. You may also be required to complete an International English Language test as a foreigner to the UK.
Once you have completed the assessment, you can proceed with submitting an application to register as a nurse trained outside the EU and EEA. There are four different stages of the application process, which includes a two part competency test. Both parts of the competency tests are taken in the UK at the University of Northampton and may be done so simultaneously in one sitting. At the time of the testing, you will also be required to do a face-to-face identification check; meaning that a trip to the UK will be necessary.
At the time of submission of your application, the NMC will evaluate your qualifications, training and experiences against their standards and will determine whether you have the necessary post- qualifying practice and experience to practice at an advanced level. Currently there is not a separate registration for ANPs with the Council. Nurses who meet the required competencies for ANPs will have their advanced status and prescribing authority recorded on the register.
The application process costs a total of about $1,887. Once your registration is complete, you will be able to practice within the National Health Service or with a private healthcare provider in the United Kingdom.
You will also need to review other requirements for living and working in the United Kingdom with the immigration office, as additional documentation will be required to relocate to the country. You will need to obtain a visa and work permit, for example, to reside in the country.