GuidelinesYour Ultimate Guide to Working Overseas: Insights from the Royal College of...

Your Ultimate Guide to Working Overseas: Insights from the Royal College of Nursing

This is your ultimate guide to working overseas, based on insights from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). Working overseas can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation. This guide is intended to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about working abroad.

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Working overseas can be an exciting opportunity to gain new experiences, learn new skills, and broaden your horizons. However, it can also be a daunting prospect, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the culture and customs of the country you are planning to work in. This guide will help you navigate the challenges of working overseas and provide you with practical advice on how to make the most of your experience.

In this Article:


Before embarking on any overseas work, it is essential to do your research. This includes researching the country you are planning to work in, as well as the specific healthcare system and nursing practices in that country. The International Council for Nurses (ICN) and the specific nurses’ association in the country where you intend to work are excellent resources for information on minimum requirements and regulatory frameworks in place. You should also obtain background information on nursing and healthcare in overseas countries. Learn about the culture, religious beliefs, and laws of the country that you are traveling to. This will help prepare you for differences in culture and legislation, minimizing the risk of running into difficulties during your stay.


Communication plays a key role in the provision of healthcare. To effectively care for patients and practice safely, you should check if you need a basic knowledge of the language of the country where you will be working or if there will be an interpretation service available to you.

Qualifications and Experience

The UK nursing qualification which is generally transferable in every other country is the ‘Registered Nurse: Adult’. Not all countries have equivalents to the UK qualifications in mental health, learning disability, children’s nursing, health visiting, and the enrolled nurse. If there is no equivalent to your nursing qualification in the country you would like to visit then you will not be able to work there as a qualified nurse. Please check the full qualification requirements for your chosen country with that country’s regulatory body (see useful information on this link). Overseas employers and recruitment companies will be specific about the experience and qualifications required for a particular role (whether paid employment or voluntary work).

Attending Interviews

If you are invited for an interview, it is essential to prepare thoroughly. Research the organization or hospital where you will be interviewed and familiarize yourself with their values, mission statement, and goals. Be clear about the kind of post you would be willing to accept and the length of time you are willing to wait for a placement.

Accepting a Job Offer

Before accepting a job offer, it is essential to consider several factors. These include salary, benefits, working hours, accommodation arrangements, visa requirements, travel arrangements, insurance coverage, and any other relevant factors.


Working overseas can be an enriching experience that provides opportunities for personal growth and professional development. However, it requires careful planning and preparation. By following this guide’s advice and doing your research thoroughly before embarking on any overseas work, you can ensure that your experience is both safe and rewarding.

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