An image of a male nurse standing in a corridor smiling.

Contact & FAQs

If you have a question about the Global Learners Programme then please get in touch or use our FAQs section.

The Global Learners Programme is now closed to new applicants.

Have a question?

If you have a question or would like to find out more about the Global Learners Programme then please get in touch. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. You may be able to find the answer to your question via our FAQs section below.

Health Education England
1st Floor
Blenheim House
Duncombe Street

You can also contact us on social media


What is the Global Learner's Programme?

The Global Learners Programme is a unique and exciting three-year work and educational opportunity in the National Health Service (NHS) in England for registered nurses. For more details please view this PDF document.

There is also a Nursing Brochure available online here.

PLEASE NOTE :  the Global Learners Programme is now closed to new applicants.

Who is Health Education England (HEE)?

HEE is a government body that has developed the Global Learners Programme. We are part of the National Health Service (NHS) – see below.

What is National Health Service (NHS)?

The NHS was launched in 1948. It was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth – one of the NHS’s core principles. With the exception of some charges, such as prescriptions, optical services and dental services, the NHS in England remains free at the point of use for all UK residents. This currently stands at more than 64.6 million people in the UK and 54.3 million people in England alone. The NHS in England deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours. It covers everything, including antenatal screening, routine screenings (such as the NHS Health Check), treatments for long-term conditions, transplants, emergency treatment and end-of-life care.

How do I register as a nurse in the UK?

The UK Nursing and Midwifery Council is the regulator in England for nursing. There are several steps you will need to complete to become a registered nurse in the UK. Further information about the process can be found here.

Which hospitals are part of the Global Learners Programme?

The GLP has new hospitals joining all the time, the hospitals we work with are based in towns and cities across England. At present they are:

  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wigan Wrightington and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
  • Worchester Acute Hospital NHS Trust
  • Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust
  • Great Weston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • St Helen’s and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust

Click here for an updated list of hospitals.

What does Band 3 and Band 5 mean?

The NHS has nationally agreed pay arrangements, known as bands. You will start on a band 3 when you begin your work at the NHS Trust. Once you’re registered with the Nursing Midwifery council you will be paid on a band 5 salary. Please see this link for a full scale break down of the NHS pay scale.

What’s COS? Who applies for that?

COS is Certificate of Sponsorship, this is the document your employing NHS Trust will need to obtain for you to work in the UK. They obtain this for you once you’ve received your Nursing Midwifery Council decision letter and submitted it to the NHS Trust.

What’s the minimum and maximum time required for getting a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)?

A COS can only be issued once you’ve submitted all your documents to the Trust. Once this is done you will receive your COS.


Can spouses work on a visa?

Yes, the spouse can work but he/she will need to apply for a National Insurance number first before they are able to do so. Please read this link to apply for a National Insurance number; Some professions are restricted such as dentistry or medicine unless the required professional registration processes have been completed.

Who will pay for my child’s/children’s schooling in the UK?

Primary and secondary state schools are free in the UK.

Who will pay for my children’s/partner’s flight to the UK?

You will have to cover the cost of their flights as this is not included in the Global Learners Programme. We advise you to complete the NMC registration process and become a registered nurse first before you bring your children or partner to the UK.

Can I bring my extended family with me? Grandma, cousin etc.

The Tier 2 visa only covers your immediate family this includes your spouse and children.

Who pays for my children’s childcare?

You’re entitled to 15 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, anything above this you will be responsible for paying for. 

ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

What is the ATS?

The ATS is an online application form you will need to complete at the start when you apply to join the GLP. You will also need to upload your passport, registration certificate and education certificates when you apply.

Can I get help filling out the online form?

Yes of course, we are here to help. Contact us on if you have any questions and a member of our team will get back to you within 48 hours.

How long will it take to complete ATS documentation?

The online form will take approximately one to two hours to complete


What type of questions will I be asked?

Interviews will consist of scenario-based questions, where we will look for examples from your current job role. Example questions may include:

  • What would you do if your patient falls out of bed?
  • You notice that your patient has developed a pressure sore. What would you do?
  • What would you do if you noticed the wrong dose had been prescribed for your patient’s drugs?


How will my interview take place?

Interviews are usually conducted over video conferencing such as Skype unless we have representatives in your area at the time of interviews, at which point we will conduct interviews face to face.

Who will be interviewing me?

You will be informed which NHS trust will be interviewing you. From here, you will be interviewed by a panel which may consist of a nurse and a member of the human resources department.

Can I do a practice interview?

If you’re joining the Global Learners Programme (GLP) through a partner organisation, they will support you with interview preparation. They will support you through the process and carry out mock interview questions in preparation. If you are joining the programme directly, we can provide information on how best to prepare for an interview to help – please contact us on; For further information please click here.

Will I be placed on the ward/department that I have experience in?

We will aim to accommodate this where possible, however it is dependent upon what vacancies are available at the time. Please do let us know your preference and we will do all we can to help you find your perfect role in the NHS.

Exams and Qualifications

Where will I sit the CBT (Computer Based Test) exam, is there a cost and who pays for this?

It costs £83 to sit the CBT and you are responsible for paying this cost. You sit the exam in your home own country as this needs to be completed before you can apply for your Nursing Midwifery Council decision letter. You will get two attempts at this, however if you fail both you must wait six months to re-sit the exam. The GLP has a training booklet and online elearning course to help you prepare for the CBT. We offer a free CBT training package to any successful applications. Please click here for further information.

Where will I sit the OSCE Exam? How will I get there? Who will pay for my travel to the exam?

OSCE exams can be taken at any of the following sites in the UK; Oxford, Ulster and Northampton. The employing NHS Trust will pay for travel and the cost of the first exam (£794). The Trust will pay the costs for the 2nd and 3rd attempts but the costs (£397 per re sit exam) will be recovered from your wage over a monthly period. You will have three attempts in eight months to pass the exam. Once you’ve passed you can apply for your Nursing Midwifery Council registration. If you fail the exam three times you will not be granted a visa and must fly back to your home country at your own expense.

How many weeks of study will I have to prepare for my OSCE exam?

You will sit the OSCE when the employing NHS trust feels that you are ready to take the exam. Most nurses will sit their first OSCE’s within two to three months of arriving in the UK. The Global Learners Programme has an excellent training package in place to support you in preparing for the exam.  The hospital will provide you with a Clinical Educator who you will work with from arrival to prepare you for the OSCE. In addition, the GLP has a 100% candidate pass rate at the OSCE exam. For further information please click here.

What happens if I fail the OSCE exam?

Each candidate has 3 attempts at OSCE – 1st attempt paid by the NHS trust, the 2nd & 3rd OSCE paid by the NHS Trust but these costs are recovered by the NHS Trust over a monthly period. If in the unlikely event this was the case, you will need to discuss with the Trust and you will have to pay back the cost of your 2nd and 3rd attempts at the exam.

What documents are needed for my Certificate of Sponsorship?

To apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship the employing NHS trust will need a copy of your Nursing Midwifery Council Decision Letter.  They will also need two official proofs of address – these must match the name and address on your application form. They are looking for official documents such as a Valid Government issued ID card, Driving License, Certificate of Good Standing or if these are not available then a bank or mortgage statement, gas/electric or water bill from within the last six months. To meet the visa requirements, Certificates of Good Standing (CoGS) are required from any country (excluding the UK) where you have lived for 12 months or more (whether continuous or in total), in the 10 years prior to your application, while aged 18 or over.  If you have lived overseas and are not sure about how to get a CoGS then please read this information

Travel arrangements and flights

Who makes the arrangements for the flights to the UK and who pays?

The employing NHS trust will pay for your flight to the UK (up to a total amount of £550.) If you choose to pay for your flight, for example if you are bringing your family, the Trust will reimburse the cost of your flight only. You should contact the NHS Trust first and discuss this before booking your flight. The employing NHS trust will only pay the cost of your flight and you will need to bring copies of your receipts with you. If you are travelling with your family, you will have to pay for these flights yourself. We recommend you to not bring your family members over to the UK until you have passed the OSCE and become a registered nurse.

Who pays for the COS, visa and health surcharge fee?

The employing NHS trust will pay the cost of sponsorship, you do not have to pay this back. The Trust will pay the upfront cost of your visa (£600) and health surcharge fee (£1200), this cost is paid back by yourself when you become a registered nurse. This amount is paid back in monthly instalments via your salary.

How do I get to the hospital location from the airport and will someone meet me there?

A representative from the employing NHS trust will meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation. You will be greeted by members of staff and provided with all the information you will need to settle into your new home.

How do I get to work from my accommodation?

Your accommodation is likely to be within close distance of the hospital. If not, there will be local transport links nearby which your NHS trust representative will talk you through.

If I have a driving licence can I drive in the UK?

You will need to pick up an international driving licence application form from the Post Office and apply for a British licence.

Setting up accounts and mobile phones

Do I need to set up a UK bank account for my wages to go in?

Yes, the employing NHS trust will advise you about this once you arrive in the UK.

How do I set up an UK bank account?

To open a UK bank account, you  will need to have your biometric card, ( and certain banks need you to have a current visa. A representative from the hospital will help you setup a bank account. It is easier to make an appointment with a bank and go to one of their branches to setup a UK bank account, they can advise you on which account is best for you and what documentation you will need to open an account in the UK. They will probably need the following documents; a proof of address, proof of employment (Contract letter) and proof of ID and visa.

How do I set up a UK mobile phone?

You will need a UK sim card which you will be able to purchase from the local supermarket.  Lycamobile and Giffgaff have the best rates for making international calls – however we do encourage you to do your own research. It is advisable that your phone is unlocked before you fly to the UK because this will allow your mobile to accept a UK sim card.

Nurses salary and payments

How long from when I have started in the UK do I get paid?

Most staff in the NHS get paid at the end of the month.  The NHS Trust will tell you about your pay arrangements as part of your induction process.

How much will I earn a month?

The salary calculator will help you calculate your expected pay.

What is a pension?

It is a type of income you get when you retire. The amount you get depends on how much you contributed to your pension fund during your working life.  The NHS has an excellent pension and all new starters are automatically enrolled into it when they join. For more information on your pay and benefits please click here.

Can I transfer money back to my home country?

Yes, most UK bank accounts have the function to transfer money internationally – speak with your provider when setting up your account. However, we do advise you to not use your bank and instead send money back to your home country using the below to avoid transaction fees of 2.5 – 3%;

Local amenities

Where is the best place to buy food at a reasonable price?

There are lots of supermarkets in the UK such as Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.  You will be able to find your nearest one once you have been allocated to an employing NHS trust. Representatives from the NHS trust will guide you to your nearest. Most major supermarkets stock international food items and there are specialist supermarkets online that will deliver to your door, such as:

Additional costs

Do I have to pay for my nurses’ uniform when I arrive in the UK?

No this is provided for you by the employing NHS trust.

Everyday life and support at the hospital

Can I apply to a different hospital within the three years if I am not happy?

You are contracted to the Trust for 3 years. If you decide to move hospitals, you will need to pay back any money the NHS trust has invested in you.  Before you make any decisions do speak to your line manager or HR Department.

Can I study in the 3 years in the UK on the Global Learners Programme?

The employing NHS Trust will offer courses and other development opportunities you will need to speak to your employer about these and they will also be able to signpost you to courses with local universities and training providers.

Shift patterns – Working 37.5 hours a week, will I work night shifts, long shifts or long days?

All nurses will work on a rota/shift basis depending on the needs of the department and hospital ward. 

Where will I live?

The NHS Trust will find you suitable accommodation within a close distance of the hospital. Your first three months accommodation will be paid for. The employing NHS trust will furnish your accommodation to make it comfortable and provide you with some food and household items for when you arrive.

If I have limited money can the hospital support me?

For the first 3 months your accommodation will be paid for, this includes household bills. You will also be given a food shop on arrival, which will cover your first week of food and toiletries. The employing NHS trust will also furnish your accommodation in the first 3 months.

Does the hospital have any other nurses from my home country?

You will usually be recruited at the same time as several nurses from your local area.

Will I be given a formal induction and when will I find out my schedule?

Formal induction training is provided on arrival. A member of the employing NHS trust will give you your schedule when you arrive in the UK. 

Is there a buddy system in place to help me settle in?

Yes and you will be provided with a buddy who may be a nurse already on the programme. They will be able to show you around and help you get to grips with the local area and culture. Some employing NHS trusts have set up WhatsApp groups and social groups for the new nurses to get to know one another.

How do I collect my biometric card?

You will need to collect your biometric card within 10 days of arriving in the UK.  When applying for your biometric card you will select a UK Post Office, ideally near where you are living. Your Trust will help with this and take you to the nearest post office.


What is the cost of rent?

Rent can vary from location to location and dependent upon the type of accommodation you will get. On average rent can be between £400 – £500 per month, which includes all bills such as water, gas, electricity and council tax – but not your internet and TV packages. The hospital will help you with this and you will be able to find accommodation near the hospital. 

Life in the UK

What is the weather like in the UK?

The UK has a variable climate changing from day to day. It is difficult to predict the weather, but we have warm summers and cold winters. The following link gives you an idea of the differing seasons in the UK;

What clothing should I bring with me?

Prepare for all weather types including sun, rain and snow. Suggested items would include a warm coat, waterproof jacket, a hat, scarves, gloves and an umbrella. Wellington boots or closed toe shoes and trainers may also be useful. All these items can be purchased in the UK.

Is public transport available?

There are many transport links available including buses, trams and trains. The transport links are normally close to the hospital. Your local contact will help guide you.

Medical Test

Do I need to provide any biometrics or have medical assessments at any point as part of the visa application, e.g. for TB

Nurses from India will need to have a TB test to enter the UK but there are no other tests required.


What is the process for dependent visas being issued?

Your immediate family members (dependents) can come with you when you come to the UK, however it is recommended you wait until passing the OSCE before doing this. A dependent is your husband, wife or partner and children under the age of 18. Each dependent must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately at a later point. There is also a fee for each dependent who applies for a visa, this is currently £464 per person.  You can apply for a dependent visa online and you’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of your application. This link has all the information you will need;

How does renewal of T2 visa work after 3 years?

You and your dependents may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (General) visa. However, you must apply before your current visa expires, this can be completed online. Criteria is set by the UK government and you must meet these before you apply. These are; you have the same job as when you were issued your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK and you’re still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship.

Permanent residency applications

The UK Government has a strict criteria for those who wish to apply for permanent residency. You must have a Tier 2 (General) visa (all nurses who are on the GLP will receive this visa) and have been living and working in the UK for five years and spent no more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 month period. The link below explains how to do this;

What is the process for applying for permanent residency?

This is completed online from the UK. You will be told whether your application has been successful within 6 months. However, you can get a decision within one working day if you pay extra to use the super priority service which is £900 or within 5 days which costs £500. There is a cost to apply for permanent residency, which is £2,389 per person applying;

How long have visa applications taken on average in the past?

Upon receipt of the Nursing Midwifery Council Decision Letter, the NHS hospital will obtain your Certificate of Sponsorship. Providing your application is in by 6th of each month then the NHS hospital will receive a decision that same month. After receiving the COS, you can apply for your visa. HEE will provide you with a pre-paid credit card to pay for the cost of the visa. Most applications are processed within 10 days, you will need to attend an appointment at a UK visa office. This can take up to 15 days and longer during holiday periods. You can find a list of VISA offices in the UK here;

UK VISA Centres in India

Please follow this link to find your nearest VISA centre; Indian VISA centres.