The difficult transition into Nursing in the UK


Even if you are trained as a nurse in your home country, you will find the transition into the UK medical system difficult. First of all, the UK systems are completely different from what you may have learned in your nursing school in your home country. There are many regulations adhere to, and a great deal of record-keeping which must be done. Also, the beginning of a new career is never easy, and doubly so when you are away from your home country and family support.

That is the reason I have written: “Be a great nurse”.  I went through the same process and found it immensely challenging, but I was determined to succeed.


Looking back, I know that if I had had more understanding of the systems of nursing in the UK and a proper induction programme, I would have found it much easier. At first I thought perhaps I was the exception in not having a good induction, but after a few years working in the UK in different companies and environments, I found that overseas nurses rarely have a good induction. There are some mandatory training sessions, and a few shadowing shifts with a “more experienced person,” but I have also found (as you will see) that these people do not always provide a good model to follow.


Most companies have lots of Policies and Procedures which provide the framework for how each organisation operates, defining what they do and how they do it. You would think that this would be essential reading for new staff, but I found the message is always the same: “here are the Policies and Procedures, just in case you need to refer to them.” In my experience, the moment when you need them is very likely the moment at which it is too late, because you’ve already taken a decision that is not in accordance with those policies.