International Working as an Adult Care Nurse
Nursing: Adult Care

Working as an Adult Care Nurse

Working as an Adult Care Nurse for the NHS you will be responsible for managing a wide variety of patients and conditions, dealing with both acute and chronic conditions. You will normally look after adult patients, but in certain cases you may work with children and babies.

Adult Nursing roles within the NHS commonly fall into two broad categories: acute (hospital-based), and community. There are a wide variety of wards or departments you can work in including:

  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Intensive care
  • Coronary care
  • Emergency department
  • Theatres
  • Oncology
  • Rehabilitation

Adult Care Nurse duties

Nurses in the UK practice under the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Conduct to ensure they meet all professional, legal and ethical requirements for working in the NHS. The code states that nurses must always follow four key proficiencies: prioritise people, practice effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

Nurses have a statutory responsibility to keep up to date with current knowledge and maintain clinical supervision through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The NHS offers a wide range of training and development options to support this.

The duties of a Registered Nurse vary depending on experience and place of work. Typically, a hospital-based Band 5 Nurse is responsible for providing ‘bedside care’, by taking patient observations, administrating medications, attending to hygiene requirements and assisting with hydration and feeding needs.

With additional training Nurses can also take on extended roles such as venepuncture, cannulation, wound care and enteral feeding, among other skills. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential because nurses are expected to keep patients, relatives, carers and colleagues regularly updated about care and progress.

Specific duties include:

  • Assess, plan, implement and evaluate patient care plans
  • Complete tasks such as preparing patients for operations, treating wounds and monitoring pulse, blood pressure and temperature
  • Observe and document the condition of patients
  • Administer medications
  • Assist with tests and evaluations
  • Respond to emergencies and changing patient situations
  • Plan patient discharges from hospital and liaise with the wider multi-disciplinary team (MDT)
  • Communicate effectively with patients and their relatives and carers
  • Provide health promotion and education to patients about their health
  • Delegate tasks and organise staff
  • Mentor student and junior nurses
  • Maintain patient records and documentation

How Adult Care Nurses work

Nurses work in hospital and community settings and generally work shifts over seven days of the week, including day and night duty and on-call rotas. Some 60% of Nurses (and Midwives) work 12-hour shifts, usually from 7am to 7pm, or 7pm to 7am.  There are also options to work more flexibly by joining staff ‘banks’ operated by NHS Professionals and NHS Trusts themselves.

They are autonomous (independent) practitioners with responsibility for all aspects of patient care, from admissions through to care planning and discharge. Although autonomous, nurses will work closely with other Nurses and other healthcare professionals in the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to create support packages for patients.

Usually, Nurses will be appointed to a specific role within a set ward or unit. However, there may also be opportunities to ‘rotate’ to other wards for a period of time.


The basic pay for a Registered Nurse in the UK ranges from £22,816 - £28,407 a year, for a 37.5-hour week.

How to become an Adult Care Nurse in the NHS

Anyone who is trained outside the UK and wants to work as an adult nurse in the NHS must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Before this stage, applicants need to successfully complete a two-part application process which includes a Computer-Based Test and an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE).

Overseas Nurses must also meet the English language standard set by the NMC.

Join the NHS with NHS Professionals International

NHS Professionals International will support overseas Nurses through the application process through to placement in a UK hospital or community setting.

We are currently seeking candidates who meet the following criteria at application stage:

  • At least 10 months paid experience as a qualified Nurse in a hospital environment
  • Registered as a Nurse and undertaking Nursing duties in your home country
  • Successfully completed and achieved a pass mark in English from either Occupational English Test or academic International English Language Testing System in reading, speaking and listening and writing.

Please note: We cannot accept applications from developing countries because these do not meet current ethical recruitment standards. This list of countries is based upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) Workforce Support and Safeguard List, which you can see with more information here.


If you are interested in applying for roles in the UK from overseas, please complete an initial application today and one of our recruitment team will be in touch with more information.


Apply Today

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