All Aboard! The Travel Nursing Europe Express!

All Aboard! The Travel Nursing Europe Express!

First Stop On The Travel Nursing Europe Express! The UK!

First and foremost to register as an RN in the UK you must be an RN in your home country.

Secondly, you must have 1 full year of experience in your home country before you can become an RN in the UK.

Third, if you are applying from a country that’s not in the European Union, you will be required to have an assessment of your training. thTe UK has only one licensing board: The Nursing and Midwifery Council. To become an RN in the UK one must pass three tests and apply.

  1. A theory Test
  2. Clinical Test
  3. International English Language Testing System Exam (IELTS)

Once you pass these tests you can join the register of UK travel nurses. Passing all of the necessary tests, completing your application and beginning your first assignment in the UK usually takes 6 months.   But once you do complete the application process you can complete the NMC’s Overseas Nurses Programme (ONP)  While modern nursing was founded by the British, nurses in the UK do not have as much responsibility as their counterparts across the Atlantic. In the UK doctors are those that assess patients and nurses often don’t even analyze blood results, perform injections or read Electrocardiograms.


As with any international labor, you must have a valid Visa to work in the UK. But with the current nursing shortage in the UK right now your skill set is in very high demand so it is very possible for nurses to get a visa.

For any work Visa, you will need to be sponsored by a health facility where you will have to work for at least one year.

While there used to be are two tiers of Work Visas that travel nurses typically used, the General Skilled Migration Visa was closed in April 2011.

The only Work Permit Travel Nurses can apply for is a Tier 2 Work Permit. Since there is a nationwide nursing shortage throughout the UK, Nurses are often heavily considered for a tier 2 work permit since they are filling a position that cannot be filled by a British Citizen.

The only steps that experienced travel nurses have to worry about is getting a confirmed sponsorship by an Employer in the UK and travel nursing agencies should be able to help with that.

The Next Stop On The Travel Nursing Europe Express! Ireland!

If you’re interested in international travel nursing, but want to keep speaking English, then travel nursing in Ireland is a great opportunity for you! You’d have almost all of Europe at your doorstep! Since the demand for nurses is growing stronger and stronger travel nursing in Ireland is growing increasingly popular.

Travel nursing in Ireland is not easy. To travel nurse in Ireland you have to register with the Irish Nursing Board, or the An Bord Altranais. Their information is listed below. Also, all overseas applications go through the NMBI, The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. They are rejecting applicants at a record rate. Marvel Williamson a nursing school professor and dean with an MSN, a PhD and extensive clinical experience.

Per the journal.ie there were 101 US applications for travel nursing in Ireland in 2015 and only 9 nurses were admitted. From 2013 there were 247 US applications and only 24 registrations.

One of the most important parts of your overseas application is that you’ve completed 1,533 theoretical hours and 2,300 clinical hours. During the course of a US BSN nurses on average clock 340 theoretical hours, or classroom hours and 1,000 hours of clinical instruction.

Marvel Williamson said that the application process focused on nursing school curriculum over recent work experience. In Irish nursing schools, the clinical hours are comprised of hours in which a student is an apprentice to a nurse without a professor. But in the US almost all clinical hours have professor supervision.

NMBI also understands that US nurses must pass the NCLEX before they become an RN so hours as a graduate nurse may be questioned thoroughly.

Unless you are an EU citizen you will have to get an employment visa.

Irish Nursing Board:

An Bord Altranais 31/32

Fitzwilliam Square

Dublin 2, Ireland

353-1-639-8500; Fax: 353-1-676-3348


The Travel Nursing Europe Express Keeps Going To Spain!

In the early 2000s, Spain had a glut, or oversupply, of both Doctors and Nurses. But while the glut of doctors has remained, the oversupply of nurses is fading as nurses in 2018 and beyond are in high demand according to the OECD.

The OECD, The Organization of Economic Co-Operation & Development, estimates the worldwide average nurse: inhabitant ratio as 9:1000. Spain today has 5.4 nurses for every 1,000 citizens. Part of that difference can be explained by the Spanish expectation of family members to take care of loved ones after operations, not nurses.

Visiting hours in Spanish hospitals are completely unrestricted as family members can, and often do, stay in the hospital with their loved one all night. Family members usually assume the responsibilities of changing bedpans, spoon feeding & giving the pills the doctor gave them.

The above can be explained, at least partially, by the fact that the Spanish have a public health system that is very underfunded. While Spanish Citizens get to enjoy very cheap healthcare, working with them would require Spanish language fluency.

But there are some coastal areas that can place English speaking nurses as there are pockets of internationals and expatriates. The Nursing agencies in Spain can be difficult to find, as they hardly advertise. There are some online directories of agencies, like this one on the Costa Del Sol.

Costa Del Sol has an aging population, so nurses will often work inside of people’s homes. So while the agencies are looking for qualified nurses, they’re also looking for compassion and care. The setting is a little bit more laid back than a hospital ward, but the tradeoff is that nurses in Spain have to be a little bit more flexible to the patient’s needs and timing. This kind of work is a lot less clinical than most countries.

One piece of advice for travel nurses interested in nursing in Spain is: learn Spanish. The Spanish Nurse’s Association, or La Organización Colegial de Enfermería, has a website that is only in Spanish for example. Also, communication in the medical field can be vital. As accustomed to internationals as the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council is the Spanish Nurses’ Association is not nearly as prepared for international nurses. But Travel Nursing in Spain is very possible, but also might be the last stop of the Travel Nursing Europe Express.

Does The Travel Nursing Europe Express do France?

First and foremost, Travel Nursing in France, like Germany or Sweden, requires complete fluency in the native tongue. No, if you’ve taken a French class in high school and haven’t spoken French since then you’re most likely not fluent.

If you can pass the French competency exam, then you must acquire validation of your medical profession. Unlike the UK, the French will not take your US training into account. French nurses have to go through their own rigorous trade school experience operated by Hospitals.

Even Non-French Europeans have a hard time getting their nursing certifications to be taken seriously inside of France, and for Non-EU citizens, it’s even harder. Unfortunately, in order for the Travel Nursing Europe Express to continue in France, an American would have to re-train in France in their French. They’re very particular when it comes to their French language being spoken properly, especially towards Paris.

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