Are you still going back and forth if you will stay in the Philippines or pursue your dream of becoming a UKRN? Are you wondering how much it really costs to be a UKRN? Or are you waiting for a sign to lead you in pursuing your UKRN journey? Well, this might be the sign that you’re waiting for. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the costs associated with becoming a UKRN for Filipino nurses.
UK Needs More Nurses, Filipino Nurses are in High Demand…
UK healthcare relies highly on nurses, and currently, with increasing demand for healthcare services, more qualified and competent nurses are required to join the workforce. According to health.org.uk, by 2030/31, to meet the demand pressures and recover from the pandemic, up to an extra 488,000 healthcare staff would be needed.
Here are some of the factors driving the high demand for Filipino nurses in the UK :
UK’s Aging Population
The UK has an ageing population just like many other developed countries. This means that as people get older, they require more medical care, which includes surgeries, hospitalization and long-term care; these contribute to a growing demand for healthcare services.
High Quality of Filipino Nurses
Filipino nurses are globally known to be compassionate and are highly valued in the healthcare industry. This is because of the Philippines’ well-established nursing education system, which produces highly skilled and knowledgeable nurses. Filipino nurses also gain significant work experience; they are exposed to wide-ranged patients and medical conditions, which makes them develop a strong foundation of clinical skills.
Cultural Compatibility and English Language Proficiency
Filipinos are known to have great work ethics, and there are also a lot of cultural similarities between the Philippines and the UK. Filipino nurses are greatly known for compassion and empathy, which are highly valued traits in the UK healthcare system. We’re also known to adapt to cultural diversity greatly, plus we have excellent communication skills in English, which is very crucial for nurses working in the UK.
UKRN Expenses and Fees
Now that you know why Filipino nurses are widely recruited in the UK, it's time to decide if you want to explore and pivot your nursing career as a UK RN. Whilst it's a great opportunity to work as a nurse in the UK, bear in mind that there are associated expenses and fees that you will need to prepare for your UK RN journey.
1. English Proficiency Review and IELTs/OET Exam
Once you are already a registered nurse in the Philippines with hospital experience, the first step in your UKRN journey, most of the time, is the English Proficiency Exam. You have the option to choose between IELTs or OET. IELTS assesses broad English language proficiency, while OET concentrates on the ability to communicate effectively in a hospital setting. It is also advisable to take IELTS/OET Review before taking the actual exams. There are a lot of review centres that you can choose from, which range from 2500-6000 pesos.
2. NMC Account Registration, CBT Exam and OSCE
Nurses who want to work in the UK must register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) in order to practice as registered nurses in the UK. This registration process involves passing certain education and language requirements and passing the NMC’s CBT (Computer-Based Test) and OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).
NOTE: Depending on the employer, these fees may be refunded as per the contract.
3. State of Board Verification (SBV) and COGS (Certificate of Good Standing)
The PRC SBV (State Board Verification) and COGs (Certificate of Good Standing) are documents required by the NMC during the registration process. SBV is your verification registration status with PRC while the COGs are your certification that you are in good standing with the PRC and you do not have any pending cases or disciplinary actions.
4. International Organization of Migration (IOM) and UK TB Testing
One of the Visa requirements you need for your UKRN journey is a certificate confirming that you do not have active TB or Tuberculosis. The only approved clinic in the Philippines to process this is the IOM (International Organization for Migration Health Centre) located in Makati City, Metro Manila.
5. VISA Fees
The employer typically pays or reimburses these fees, except for the Dependent Visa. It is important to review your contract thoroughly to ensure that you will receive a refund for these fees once you start working in the UK. IHS is a mandatory fee paid by applicants who will stay more than 6 months which will entitle them to receive free NHS medical services. A health and Care Visa is a new visa for eligible healthcare professionals and dependents; if you qualify for Health and Care Visa, then you do not need to pay for IHS. A dependent Visa will allow you to bring your partner or family member to the UK. The fees vary depending on the type of Visa, the duration of stay and the age of your dependent.
6. UK Household Expenses
Like in any country, the cost of living depends on the region. The biggest household expense is rent, which differs by location and accommodation type. Council tax is one of the mandatory fees that needs to be paid to the local government. Other expenses like gas, heating, water, broadband and electricity are all necessary utilities that are essential for daily life. This also depends on the usage and supplier. Another mandatory fee is the TV licence; this is for those who watch or record live television broadcasts.
7. Professional Fees
In order to work as a nurse in the UK, you need to be on the register and renew it every year for £120. Don't forget you also need to fulfil your revalidation every three years to confirm that you're fit to practise as a UK RN. Joining the union is optional, but we highly recommend doing so. Unions can provide representation and support (professional and legal) should you encounter problems and conflicts at work.
8. Other Expenses (UK Transportation)
Whether you own a car or use public transportation, your choice can have its own pros and cons. You just have to decide what works for you and what you can afford at the end of the day. If you live in a busy city like London, public transport is so efficient that you probably wouldn't need a car. However, in our experience living in the countryside, owning a car provides great convenience in going to different places, running errands and also commuting to and from work.
There you have it, a comprehensive guide on the costs associated with becoming a UKRN. We hope that this information has helped you in making a decision to pursue your UKRN journey. Remember that the demand for nurses in the UK is continuously growing, and Filipino nurses are highly valued for their compassion, excellent clinical skills, cultural compatibility, and English language proficiency. While the expenses and fees may seem daunting, it is a small investment compared to the career opportunities and benefits that await you in the UK. So, if you are still on the fence about pursuing your dream of becoming a UKRN, this might just be the sign you've been waiting for. Don't let fear and doubt hold you back from achieving your goals. As the quote says, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Good luck, and we wish you all the best in your UKRN journey!