Emma, Practice Facilitator for Bumblebee and Hedgehog Ward, shares her experience moving from New Zealand to the UK.
“I’m from New Zealand and I knew I wanted to live in the UK for a while to travel. Once I knew that, GOSH seemed like the perfect place as; it’s one of the top children’s hospitals worldwide, it’s in London where the opportunities for travel are endless and there’s great opportunities for career progression and professional development.
I love working with the newly qualified nurses who start their nursing career here at GOSH. We have very complex kids and we see so many specialities that there is a big need for ongoing education. Being able to teach the junior nurses something new or help them with a skill is hugely rewarding. Also, being a Practice Facilitator is a role that is very hands on, and the majority of my time is spent on the floor with our patients and their families which I enjoy.
Working primarily with patients from other cultures and who speak other languages is hugely challenging. We have our amazing Arabic Interpreters who help us with our language barriers and cultural safety, but it means that lots of nursing care takes more time than usual. Also, our patient’s backgrounds vary hugely and what they and their families expect during their stay in hospital reflects that in the differing expectations. You end up becoming a skilled negotiator and problem solver in this role.
Nursing is a hard profession and with the challenges of the NHS I can understand why people wouldn’t consider it like they once would. However, I can attest that you get out what you put in and having a career that truly makes a difference in people’s lives is hugely rewarding. There’s also so many career opportunities in nursing and different jobs you can do that people don’t realise the scope of what nurses do or areas they can move into throughout their careers.”
My tops tips for nurses looking to relocate to the UK would be the following:
1. Start the process early – the NMC are very strict and the process can take a while to get through. Mine took over a year from start to finish.
2. Yes, the NMC OSCE is scary but there are great preparation courses around to give you the confidence to get through. I took the adult exam but hadn’t looked after adults since my university training so doing a prep course was a great refresher and contributed to me passing.
3. I’m a comprehensively trained nurse in New Zealand (meaning I can work in adults, child health, mental health and learning and disability there) but registered as an adult nurse here in the UK. Even if you need to register as an adult nurse you can still work in a child health setting or a mental health setting! They recognise there are a lot of skills that cross over within the different areas so as long as you have the skills and knowledge needed for the job, not being on the correct part of the register doesn’t matter.