How do international nurses transition from HCA to Registered Nurse

Registered Nurse

Are you a healthcare assistant interested in becoming a registered nurse? This blog is for you.

There is no doubt that being a healthcare assistant is every bit as rewarding as being a registered nurse. However, everyone wants to grow in their career. If you have been working as a healthcare assistant for quite some time now, becoming a registered nurse may be a great option for you.

Continue reading to find out how you can transition from a healthcare assistant to a registered nurse.

As a healthcare assistant, you are responsible for your patient’s comfort throughout their hospital stay. You have likely worked in various settings under the supervision of nurses and other healthcare professionals.

As a registered nurse, you will have more responsibilities on your plate. Your duties will include:

  • Assessing and observing patients
  • Recording symptoms and collecting each patient’s medical history
  • Administering medications and treatments.
  • Checking for any side effects or reactions

These are only some of the responsibilities you will have to execute as a registered nurse. If this is the kind of role you are looking for, below are the process steps you need to complete in order to transition from an HCA role to a registered nurse role.

Complete your NMC registration process and obtain your pin

In order to work as a Registered Nurse in the UK, you will need to complete NMC registration and secure a Pin.

First, you will need to prove that your English language proficiency is sufficient to provide safe patient care. You can prove your English language ability through the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or OET (Occupational English Test) exam.  

Validate your nursing knowledge and skills by passing the CBT exam

Another requirement before you can become a registered nurse in the UK is to pass NMC’s computer-based test – CBT. The CBT exam tests your theoretical and practice-based nursing knowledge.

Start searching for a job as a Band 5 nurse

Once you have passed the CBT exam, you can start your job search for Band 5 nursing posts within the NHS or entry level nursing posts at private hospitals and care homes across the UK.

Take the OSCE exam

Your next step is the most crucial one to become a Registered Nurse in the UK. You will need to pass a clinical nursing exam called the Objective Structured Clinical Examination – OSCE. In this examination, you will be given scenarios that test your clinical and communication skills.

Becoming a registered nurse in the UK

Once you pass your OSCE exam, you are a Registered Nurse in the UK (Band 5).

Now that you know what you need to do to transition from an HCA role to a Registered Nurse role in the UK, we encourage you to start the process right away. If you need any assistance finding the right Band 5 nursing job in the UK, give us a call on 91 81118 45500 or drop us an email at, and we’ll be happy to help you! Global Nurse Force has helped thousands of nurses secure rewarding nursing careers throughout the UK NHS and we can help you too!

How do international nurses transition from HCA to Registered Nurse
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