How do I become a Continental Nurse?
We’ll walk you through every stage of the process. The first step is to contact us with your basic information and interests. We’ll set everything in motion to get you going on your UK RN registration.
What kind of registration do I need in order to practice nursing in the UK?
Naturally, you must be a Registered Nurse in your home country. And for the UK to offer you their registration you must have practiced for at least one year. The UK has just one licensing board – the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You must register with this board to be eligible to work in the UK. Not only will we help you step by step we’ll pay for most of it.
Are there any fees involved?
Not from us, of course. Getting your UK nursing license will involve fees. However with our new and improved package we’ll reimburse you for the bulk of these. And if you have never applied for another license or even if you have, getting registered can seem to be a complicated process. We will help you through every step and make it simple and easy. There are four distinct steps to UK registration: proving English language competency, a theory test, an application and a clinical test. But that’s why you are so valuable when you arrive in the UK — only the best will qualify and only the adventurous will bother. We make the procedure as painless as possible and then the day you’re registered, your stock will soar.
How long does the process take?
There are many variables, such as how long it takes your Board of Nursing to send the necessary papers. But in general, you should expect up to six months from the time you decide to explore travel nursing and your first assignment. Obviously, nursing is a highly skilled, highly in-demand profession. UK countries very much want your talents, but they also must maintain certain standards. Continental Nurse only works with nurses who have received the best training in the world. That’s why our reputation is sterling and why you will be so in-demand.
How fast can I secure a position?
Again, once you are licensed in the UK, we can place you very quickly. As you probably know, there is a chronic nursing shortage around the world. Your services are very in-demand.
How do I get from the airport to my lodgings?
We know it can be disorienting to arrive in a strange place after a long flight, so we make sure that if you fly into London, we meet you on your arrival. If you haven’t already received it, upon your arrival you will also be provided with all the necessary paperwork to enable you to settle in as a Continental Nurse employee in your first assignment.
What is the housing like? I’m not looking to rough it.
We seek to provide up-market places in nice, safe neighbourhoods with good public transport links. We aim for housing that is as close to the hospital as possible.
How much will I earn?
Travel nurses are typically paid slightly more than the staff nurses they work alongside in the hospitals. And of course your excellent housing is subsidized. You can expect your take-home pay to allow you plenty of funds to enjoy yourself while you explore Europe.
How will I be paid?
Your pay will be direct deposited into a UK bank account every fortnight (i.e. every two weeks). We’ll help you set up that account.
Do I have to pay tax in two countries?
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid paying taxes. However, most countries have tax agreements with the UK. The taxes you pay in the UK may be credited to your home country — in other words, you won’t be taxed twice. A number of countries — including the U.S. — also offer serious tax breaks to their citizens working overseas. You’ll need to speak with a tax consultant in your home country for how this may or may not apply.
How many hours a day will I work? How many hours a week?
Twelve-hour shifts are becoming more popular, but straight shifts — unless you are in a clinic or theatre — are almost non-existent. You may find that the level of responsibility is less than you are used to (a very nice thing indeed). The working week is 37.5 hours long. In all assignments, specialty pay and/or charge pay may be added. As a traveller, being in charge of your floor is the exception rather than the rule. All assignments have enhanced pay for nights and Saturdays and even more for Sundays and public holidays.
What about travel money?
Every thirteen week assignment carries with it some travel money – designed to help get you from one assignment to the next. Remember: traveling from the south of England to the north of Scotland takes less than eight hours by train, so it’s never a strenuous journey. The travel money is paid at the beginning of your assignment but is earned upon completion of the thirteen weeks. Should you stay in the same location and extend for a further assignment, you will still earn another full allowance.
What kind of uniform will I need?
As part of the local hospital team, you wear the uniform of the regular staff (which is supplied to you by the hospital), and work on the same rotations as the “regular” staff. On the other hand, there are the rather old-fashioned black shoes and black stockings most Hospital Trusts require that their female nursing staff to wear. It could be worse — nursing caps were phased out of public hospitals only within the past 20 years!
Is there any continuing education offered?
Yes. Talk to us about further details.
What other benefits are there?
As if an attractive hourly rate, a short-term commitment, up-market accommodations and even travel money aren’t enough, as a Continental Nurse employee you will receive twenty eight days paid vacation annually, statutory sick pay, professional indemnity insurance coverage and help with registration costs. Travellers will receive OSCE training, OSCE reimbursement along with reimbursement for the CBT. In return for a commitment, we will pay for the registration tests and provide training for the clinical test.
Can I take time off to explore Europe and then do another assignment?
Absolutely. And you don’t need to wait for a break. Getting to Europe is a breeze: flights are very inexpensive and flying time is about an hour and a half to more than a dozen countries. Combine a cheap, quick flight with clever shift scheduling and you can easily find yourself in Paris or Rome on a three or four day excursion. If you’re coming to the UK with the desire to take extended time off to see the rest of Europe, Continental Nurse is ideal. You can work an assignment, save up some holiday money and then spend a few weeks or even months traveling the Continent. (We’re always ready to offer travel suggestions and helpful tips as well.) Then you can return to the UK for your next assignment with Continental so you can “top up” your bank account and plan your next adventure.
How did travel nursing begin?
Travel nursing as a method of staffing started in the United States in the late 1970s. It was a response to the seasonal surge of elderly people visiting Florida and other southern states during the winter months and the consequent rise in the need for hospital beds and nurses.
What began as a seasonal phenomenon quickly developed into the preferred way for hospitals to deal with chronic staffing shortages. The participating hospital gets the benefit of experienced competent nurses who are part of their team for at least three months, not simply fill-in agency nurses who are “here today and gone tomorrow.”