The Republic of Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) governments signed a Bilateral Agreement that allows the two nations to collaborate in the deployment of healthcare workers. The Bilateral Agreement allows Kenyan healthcare workers such as nurses to be employed by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Under this agreement, the two governments will focus on the capacity building of the healthcare workforce to deliver primary and unique services. The whole deal aims at enhancing knowledge and skill transfer together with exposure.

Kenya’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is responsible for implementing this agreement by recruiting and facilitating the migration of qualified individuals to the United Kingdom. The process is, therefore, to be conducted with the knowledge of the Ministry of Health. As nurses are the first batch of professionals being recruited, unemployed nurses are invited to apply for this opportunity.

Qualifications and Requirements

To be eligible for consideration into the recruitment of Kenyan nurses into the UK, applicants SHOULD meet the following qualifications:

  1. Be a Kenyan citizen
  2. Hold a Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from a recognized institution.
  3. Be registered by the Nursing Council of Kenya
  4. Hold a valid Police Clearance Certificate
  5. NOT be in any employment whether in the Public or Private sector in Kenya

If you meet the above-listed qualifications, kindly register at the Kenyan Nurses for Employment in The United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) and Northern Ireland. This is a Kenyan comprehensive institutional framework responsible for management employment.

Other Ways of Working in The UK As a Nurse from Kenya

You can also relocate to the UK as an international nurse from Kenya by applying directly to the NHS.

To work as a nurse under the NHS in the UK, you will have to be registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). To be eligible for registration into the NMC, you must provide evidence of your English skills by passing IELTS or OET exams. Moreover, you must show your proficiency in nursing skills by passing the CBT and OSCE exams.

However, since the OSCE exams are only conducted in the UK, as an international nurse, you can work under the NHS in the UK as a pre-registered health care provider for a maximum of 3 months before undertaking the OSCE exam.

NMC Registration Qualifications

Eligibility of NMC registration for international nurses requires to prove of English language skills and knowledge of nursing.


Prove Your English Language Ability

To prove your English language skills, you will need to clear IELTS or OET:

  • Academic IELTS with a minimum of 7 in each component and an overall score of 7
  • OET with a minimum grade of B in each component

You can book your IELTS exams at the nearest center here, while OET can also be checked here.

Kindly note that in case you don’t achieve the required score in the first attempt of IELTS or OET, you have an opportunity to sit for another one within a period of six months.

Prove your Nursing Knowledge

To prove your Nursing knowledge and skills, you will need to pass the Computer-Based Training (CBT). The CBT test is made up of 140 multiple-choice questions that aim to determine your nursing competencies. Some questions in this test are related to patient handling, while others ask about general public safety.

You can check the nearest CBT center around you by clicking here.

Eligibility to apply for Pre- Registration Nurse within NHS

After passing your English language skills (IELTS/OET) and proving your nursing knowledge (CBT), you are now eligible to apply as a pre-registered nurse with the NHS.

You’ll have to submit several documents to the NMC so that an assessment of your qualification to work in the UK is carried out. As soon as NMC receives your documents, the International Registration Team will embark on assessing your eligibility and later communicate their findings.

Submission of your Documents to Employer

After receiving approval from the above bodies, you will need to submit your documents to your employer. These documents ensure your stay in the UK as a nurse is legal and safe.

Here are some of the documents you will submit to the employer:

  1. NHS application form
  2. A police clearance certificate from your home country
  3. Proof of address
  4. References

Visa Application

After receiving an offer from the NHS and your hospital has been given your CoS by the UK government, you will be now ready to apply for a visa. International nurses entering the UK should apply for a Tier 2 Visa.

For more information on how to apply for the Tier 2 Visa, please click here.

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

After arriving in the UK, you are given an allowance of 3 months to carry out your OSCE examination. This is the second exam required for NMC registration. The OSCE assesses your clinical knowledge is only done in the UK. The exam replicates a clinical setup and patient scenarios that nurses and midwives may come across during their operation of duties.

If you don’t pass your OSCE exam on the first attempt, you will be granted another chance to sit for another one within eight months.

However, it is essential to note that you can only sit for the OSCE exams three times for a single application.

The OSCE exam can either be conducted at the University of Northampton, Oxford University, or Ulster University, located in Northern Ireland.

Face to Face Identification Check

After passing the OSCE exam, you will attend a face-to-face identification process that is usually carried out on the same day of the exam.

During the identification process, you will be requested to provide the original documents of the copies sent earlier.

At this point, you will be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and immediately receive an NMC Personal Identification Number (PIN) therefore allowing you to work as a registered nurse within NHS in the UK.

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