Moving to London

Mar 6th, 2005, 04:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 429
Moving to London

I'm just in the thought stage of this idea but need some advice. I'm a RN in the US, and I'm considering moving to London for a 6 month or year long stay to work as a nurse. I've contacted a nursing agency and it'll take months to get the o.k. to practice nursing in the U.K. I don't know how healthcare compares in London to the US. What are the best hospitals to work at, and where's a good area to live? I've been to London twice but going as a tourist versus a resident isn't comparable. Would I make enough to be able to afford a small flat for my 18 year old son and myself? Would he have trouble finding a job?
blondiepopo is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 577
try for info...should have everything you'd want.
ucsun is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Don;t know what branch of nursing you are in - specialty - advanced degree? but I am involved in healthcare education and have met/talked with some nurses from the UK at meetings here. As impossible as it seems - nursing salaries there are much less even than those here (pitiful as they are) - dspote the much higher cost of living there. Also, the healthcare system is much different - and I'm not at all sure that nursing responsaiblities are comparable (but my contacts were nurse practitioners so this may vary).

And, no - unless your son is in some sort of required profession - or can qualify for short-term student employment - he would be limited to illegal under the table work (wait staff, bartender etc).
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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People born abroad account for around half Britain's nurses. About 90% of nursing jobs are in the National Health Service, and their direct recruitment site is This site should explain the general rules about work permits etc. Be warned however that processing the paperwork can take a very long time: there are newspaper stories about delays of up to 2 YEARS!!!

Being recruited directly by the NHS isn't the only option. Google on nursing agencies and you'll see a welter of businesses recruiting - sometimes at higher wages - both to fill NHS gaps and for mthe much smaller private sector.

Although the nurse shortage is most acute in London, most public-service jobs in London share the same problem. Trade unions insist on national salaries - and what's a reasonable salary in Gateshead won't feed a mouse (or rather, and more importantly, pay for a mouse hole) in London.

Travel more than 50-60 miles outside London and you'll find property prices drop sharply. London's property prices aren't quite the killer many naive visitors think if you're moving to London from another affluent city. If you sell your flat in NY or Sydney for £250,000 and buy a small place here for a bit more, getting a mortgage for the difference is easy, the costs of ownership are quite low, and the likelihood is the property will appreciate at least slightly.The problem is if you're coming here from somewhere people aren't able to accumulate wealth so easily, or if you're too young to have been able to build up a property-based nest egg.

The conventional answer is flat sharing - which doesn't sound right for you. London is a wonderful place both for young people happy to live uin mild squalor while they're getting on in life and for grownups who've been able to get on the property ladder. But it's horribly challenging for a lot of other people, which is why you're probably best forgetting London and looking to provincial Britain.

Your son, as nytraveler says, is probably a problem. He's too old to be admitted as your dependant, and almost certainly too young to have built up any of the qualifications or experience to get himself a work permit. Some student visas allow a limited number of working hours (I think about 20 a week), and - as long as he's on a legitimate course - processing of student visas seems to be relatively speedy.

You should find as good a place as any to find people who've dealt with bringing adult children here.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 429
Thanks for all the good info. Maybe it's not such a great idea. I don't need an unemployed 18 year old son running all over London that's for sure. I knew if I came, I'd have to downsize my standard of housing but since it wouldn't be permanent I didn't think it would be too bad. I live in Indianapolis now, and plan to move to Las Vegas permanently when I'm vested in my retirement here in 18 months, so thought a little break (like living in London) might be fun first.
blondiepopo is offline  

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