Work as a Nurse from Ghana in a UK Care Home

Work as a Nurse from Ghana in the UK

If you have ever considered work as a nurse from Ghana in a UK care home, now might be the right time. Problems of low pay, poor working conditions and limited opportunities persist in the nursing sector in Ghana. The UK has a chronic shortage of qualified nurses and care assistants, and each year a significant number of nurses from Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and India to name a few are awarded visas to work in the UK. 

High numbers of nurses are recruited annually from each of these countries since domestic employment prospects are often poor for qualified nurses. Paradoxically, most of these countries are on the ‘red list’ in the UK however. This means that employers should not ‘actively’ recruit from them since this could exacerbate existing issues within the countries themselves. This does not mean you cannot work as a nurse from Ghana in the UK – it just means that you will have to apply directly to UK jobs and UK employers cannot advertise jobs in Ghana, for example.

There is a well-defined process for people qualifying in those countries to follow to align their training to UK standards. This includes completing a series of tests both at home and upon arrival in the UK to meet Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements. Many nurses from Ghana work as care assistants in the UK while they complete these tests.

Work as a Nurse from Ghana in the UK

Working as a nurse from Ghana in a UK care home involves several key steps. First, you’ll need to ensure that your nursing qualifications are equivalent to a UK degree and meet the required standards. You’ll need to demonstrate your English language proficiency, typically through exams like IELTS or OET, with specific score requirements. Following this, you must register with the UK’s NMC. This involves submitting proof of your qualifications and identity and passing both the Computer Based Test (CBT) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

High numbers of nurses are recruited annually from each of these countries since domestic employment prospects are often poor for qualified nurses. Paradoxically, most of these countries are on the ‘red list’ in the UK however. This means that employers should not ‘actively’ recruit from them since this could exacerbate existing issues within the countries themselves. This does not mean you cannot work as a nurse from Ghana in the UK – it just means that you will have to apply directly to UK jobs and UK employers cannot advertise jobs in Ghana, for example.

There is a well-defined process for people qualifying in those countries to follow to align their training to UK standards. This includes completing a series of tests both at home and upon arrival in the UK to meet NMC requirements. Many nurses from Ghana work as care assistants in the UK while they complete these tests.

What is the CBT Test?

The Computer Based Test is a nursing theory test for nurses trained outside Europe who want to work in the UK. Administered by the NMC, the CBT assesses the essential knowledge and skills needed to practice safely and effectively in the UK healthcare environment.

 

The CBT covers a broad spectrum of nursing topics relevant to UK healthcare, including patient care, clinical practices, and healthcare regulations. It is a multiple-choice exam divided into two parts. Part A focuses on numeracy and medication dosage calculations, while Part B evaluates clinical and theoretical knowledge, such as patient management, nursing care, and professional issues. The test lasts about three hours and typically includes around 120 questions, administered on a computer at various global test centres.

 

The purpose of the CBT is to ensure that international nurses possess the necessary knowledge and understanding to practice safely in the UK. It helps align their knowledge with UK standards, especially in areas like clinical guidelines, patient safety, and ethical considerations. To prepare for the CBT, candidates can access various resources, including study guides, practice tests, and review courses. The NMC provides a syllabus and sample questions to give candidates a clear idea of the test format and content.

 

To pass the CBT, candidates need to demonstrate their competence in essential nursing knowledge aligned with UK standards. A passing score indicates that they have the requisite knowledge to practise safely in the UK. If a candidate does not pass, they are allowed to retake the test within a timeframe specified by the NMC.

 

In the registration process, passing the CBT is a preliminary step that international nurses must complete before moving on to the OSCE. Both exams are designed to ensure that nurses trained outside the EU are well-prepared for the professional and regulatory environment in the UK. Successfully passing the CBT demonstrates that an international nurse is ready to adapt to UK healthcare standards and integrate into the UK nursing workforce.

NMC CBT Practice Test

Use our practice test to prepare for your Nursing and Midwifery Council computer based test.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a critical component of the registration process for nurses trained outside Europe who aspire to practise in the UK. Administered by the NMC, the OSCE evaluates a nurse’s clinical skills and practical abilities to ensure they align with UK standards.

 

The OSCE assesses candidates through a series of simulated clinical scenarios, each known as a station. During the exam, candidates move through these stations, which are designed to mimic real-world nursing situations. Each station typically lasts about 10 to 20 minutes and covers various aspects of nursing practice. Candidates might be required to perform specific clinical procedures, conduct patient assessments, or respond to particular patient care situations, such as wound dressing, administering medication, or handling emergencies.

 

Evaluators observe and score candidates based on how well they demonstrate their skills and apply their knowledge in these simulated scenarios. The assessment criteria include technical proficiency and the ability to make appropriate decisions and communicate effectively with patients and colleagues. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that the candidates can handle the demands of nursing in the UK.

 

Preparation for the OSCE involves a thorough understanding of UK nursing practices and the competencies required for each station. Many candidates prepare by studying relevant materials, engaging in practice sessions, and taking specific OSCE preparation courses to familiarise themselves with the exam format and expectations.

 

The OSCE serves as a practical test of a nurse’s readiness to practise safely and effectively in the UK healthcare environment. Successfully passing the OSCE is necessary to complete the NMC registration process, allowing international nurses to begin their professional careers in the UK. This examination ensures that all nurses, regardless of where they were trained, meet the high standards required to provide safe and competent care in the UK.

The Health and Care Worker Visa

The essential component of work as a nurse from Ghana in a UK care home is a work visa. The Health and Care Worker Visa, which has replaced the Tier 2 General visa, is the relevant category for nurses from Ghana working in the UK. To qualify, you must have a job offer from a UK employer, such as a care home, that holds a valid sponsorship licence. This job must be on the eligible occupations list and meet the salary threshold. Once you receive a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, you can apply for the visa online, paying the necessary fees and providing biometric information.

Finding employment in the UK can involve searching for job openings in care homes actively seeking overseas nurses or care assistants. Many employers might support you through the application and relocation process. Recruitment agencies specialising in placing international nurses in the UK can be helpful, as can applying directly to care homes or healthcare providers. Many agencies and larger organisations will have formal training programs in preparation for the OSCE.

As you prepare for relocation, it’s crucial to arrange accommodation, either through your employer or independently. Understanding the cultural, professional, and lifestyle differences in the UK is also vital. Familiarise yourself with UK healthcare practices and patient care standards.

Upon arrival, you’ll likely need to complete an induction and any mandatory training provided by your employer. Nurses from Ghana working in the UK have up to 12 weeks from the date of their Certificate of Sponsorship to sit their first OSCE at one of 5 test centres in the UK. They must also engage in continuous professional development to meet the NMC’s revalidation requirements every three years, ensuring they remain qualified to work in the UK.

To assist in this process, you can use resources like the NMC for registration guidance, the UK government’s website for visa information, and job portals like NHS Jobs, Indeed, and Care Home Jobs for employment opportunities. Following these steps will help you successfully transition to working as a nurse in a UK care home.

The OSCE assesses candidates through a series of simulated clinical scenarios, each known as a station. During the exam, candidates move through these stations, which are designed to mimic real-world nursing situations. Each station typically lasts about 10 to 20 minutes and covers various aspects of nursing practice. Candidates might be required to perform specific clinical procedures, conduct patient assessments, or respond to particular patient care situations, such as wound dressing, administering medication, or handling emergencies.

Evaluators observe and score candidates based on how well they demonstrate their skills and apply their knowledge in these simulated scenarios. The assessment criteria include technical proficiency and the ability to make appropriate decisions and communicate effectively with patients and colleagues. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that the candidates can handle the demands of nursing in the UK.

Preparation for the OSCE involves a thorough understanding of UK nursing practices and the competencies required for each station. Many candidates prepare by studying relevant materials, engaging in practice sessions, and taking specific OSCE preparation courses to familiarise themselves with the exam format and expectations.

The OSCE serves as a practical test of a nurse’s readiness to practice safely and effectively in the UK healthcare environment. Successfully passing the OSCE is necessary to complete the NMC registration process, allowing international nurses to begin their professional careers in the UK. This examination ensures that all nurses, regardless of where they were trained, meet the high standards required to provide safe and competent care in the UK.