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Overseas recruitment

Welcoming applications from overseas and the EEA.

In the past ten years CUH has welcomed over 900 nurses from overseas.

CUH is proud to recruit nurses internationally and has been travelling all around the world for approximately 10 years to meet passionate, caring nurses who are willing to make the life changing decision to move to the UK.  We have a dedicated team of staff working directly with these nurses, from greeting them on arrival to the hospital, to orientating them on what life will be like living in the UK, to supporting them through the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) process to gain their registration. Senior nurses from CUH have attended many recruitment campaigns in countries such as the Philippines, India and Dubai.

As a Trust we have evolved and continued to develop our recruitment processes to ensure we are following the NMC Guidelines as they have reformed. International nurses can apply to be on the NMC register, providing they meet its standards. The NMC will compare the training in the nurses home country with that required in the UK.

We strive to ensure that our new arrivals feel welcomed to the UK and to CUH. We currently offer financial support for their first month’s rent as well as providing onsite accommodation for up to three months. We also provide a welcome pack with bedding, crockery and cutlery to help you settle in your first few weeks.

For more information about working with CUH from overseas, please contact the CUH Careers Team on 01223 217038

NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award.

This has been awarded to recognise CUH’s work in international recruitment and our commitment to providing high-quality pastoral care to internationally educated nurses and midwives during recruitment processes and their employment.

The Background
CUH Certificate

The NHS has always benefited from overseas recruitment and from nurses coming from other countries to live and work in England. Recruitment from outside of the UK continues to feature as an important part of the workforce supply strategy of NHS organisations, in line with the NHS People Plan. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the ambitions for the NHS over the next 10 years, identifying ethical international recruitment as a workforce priority.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s International Recruitment Programme is delivering an ethical and sustainable recruitment model and the programme supports NHS organisations to increase and develop their international recruitment plans.

The safe arrival, induction, and provision of support for new people joining the NHS workforce is our number one priority for international recruitment. Based on feedback from internationally educated nurses and trust IR leads, we know varying levels of pastoral care are provided across the NHS. We also know that enhanced pastoral care has a positive impact on recruitment and retention.

Launched in March 2022, the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award scheme is helping to standardise the quality and delivery of pastoral care for internationally educated nurses and midwives across England to ensure they receive high-quality pastoral support. It’s also an opportunity for trusts to recognise their work in international recruitment and demonstrate their commitment to staff wellbeing both to potential and existing employees. Through the scheme, NHS trusts can apply for a quality award based on their international recruitment practices for nurses and midwives.

To achieve the award, they must meet a set of standards for best practice pastoral care, which have been co-developed with regional and trust international recruitment leads and international nursing and midwifery associations. By achieving the award, trusts demonstrate a commitment to supporting internationally educated nurses and midwives at every stage of their recruitment and beyond.

For more about the award visit NHS England website (opens in a new tab).

NHS Pastoral Award Certified Badge
OSCE Support
Group shot of people who are on the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) preparation programme.

At Cambridge University Hospitals, the Clinical Education Support team provide a detailed induction, followed by 11 weeks preparation for your OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) examination.  During this first 11 weeks you will be working clinically which will help you build your confidence in your new environment.  You will be provided allocated study time to undertake the OSCE preparation programme.

Each nurse is given an OSCE study guide to support them with their learning. At the end of the five week programme, all nurses are offered one to one sessions with one of the Clinical Education Facilitators to consolidate their knowledge and put the finishing touches to their return demonstrations that they will be presenting at one of the OSCE test centres.

The NMC Test of Competence Part 2 is more commonly known as the  Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).  This is your final part in your journey to become a Registered Nurse in the United Kingdom.

Part one – A computer based multiple-choice examination which will be accessible in many countries around the world for applicants to access in their home countries.

Part two – A practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will always be held in the UK.

The preparation programme combines theory and practice within the class room environment.  We offer mini mock exams throughout and in week 8, you will undertake a Mock OSCE prior to attending your exam.

The Clinical Education Support team is not only here to support your exam preparation.  We understand how challenging it is coming to a new country to live and work, we are here to support you every step of your journey.  Pastoral care and your well being is of paramount importance to us.  CUH embraces equality and diversity, a wonderful environment to start  and develop your career in the United Kingdom.

We have a large community of nurses who have undertaken the OSCE and celebrate an overall pass rate of 99.5%. 

Recruiting Nurses trained in the EEA

Nurses who trained in the EEA must also meet the standards of the NMC before they can be considered for registration. The NMC will compare the training in your country with that required in the UK. Following the recognition of qualification, and before entry to the register, all applicants are required to supply evidence that they have the necessary knowledge of English. Communication is defined as speaking, reading, listening and writing.


The requirements for registration are different for nurses who trained in the UK and EEA to those who trained outside the UK and EEA.

To find out more information about seeking NMC registration follows the link to the NMC (opens in a new tab) website.