Season 2 Episode 5 - The One With Return to Practise UK Nurse Kirsty - UK

Season 2 Episode 5 - The One With Return to Practise UK Nurse Kirsty - UK

** Sit back and listen, it's time for Licence to Practise by IELTS Medical.



In S2 Ep5, Christina learned more about Kirsty, a Return to Practise Nurse from here in the UK. Kirsty shares why she decided that now was the best time to return to nursing and join the front line.


Featured Course: CBT for Nurses : 



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Season 2, Episode 5 - The One With Return to Practise Nurse Kirsty

Christina: Hello and welcome back to season two of License to Practice from IELTS Medical. Today, I'm having a little bit of a different conversation with a nurse, Kirsty, who was previously a UK registered nurse, had a bit of time out and then wanted to become reregistered. So she isn't an overseas healthcare professional. However, she still had to go through the same process minus the English language proficiency tests to become reregistered here in the UK. There's not a lot of information out there for nurses who have been previously registered in the UK and want to reregister. So hopefully listening to Kirsty's story will shed a little bit of light on that. Don't forget to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and let's give her a call.

Kirsty: Hello.

Christina: Hi Kirsty.

Kirsty: Hiya you alright?

Christina: Yeah, are you?

Kirsty: Yeah, Good, thank you.

Christina: Good. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast. If you could just start by telling us a little bit about you.

Kirsty: Yeah. So I started off my career a very long time ago, so I qualified as a nurse about 22 years ago, and I worked as a cardiothoracic nurse for about 10 years. And then when my children were small, I decided to give up nursing and go a totally different direction to allow me to have a better work life balance between being with my children and working and things. And then during the pandemic, and I saw how busy things were and the COVID vaccine came out and I kind of felt like nurses were being taken from GP surgery, from frontline and thought I could do something. That's something that I could step back in.

Kirsty: Really didn't want to go back into nursing. Didn't entertain the fact at all, but was happy to be trained as a COVID vaccinator. The second I started doing that again, I realized how much I miss nursing and how much I loved nursing. I worked with a really great GP practice and they decided that actually they would like to keep me on. So I didn't dream I could ever go back to nursing. I've been out for 12 years. I didn't see a route back. And they offered me a role as a healthcare assistant with support to get back to nursing. And then that set me back on my route back into nursing.

Christina: Wow. That's so interesting. And I'm glad you've fallen back in love with it. That's really nice to hear. So obviously, and normally people that come on the podcast have never been registered in the UK before and are completely new to working in the UK. But for you, obviously, that's a completely different story. So did you know how to get back into nursing, what you needed to do in order to become registered again?

Kirsty: No. It was a real kind of, had no idea at all. And everybody that I spoke to and every bit of research I did was all about nurses coming over from other countries. There was nothing about English nurses getting re registered apart from a return to nursing course, which would mean six months out of my life going back to university. But also I would need to complete about 500 hours to get back on the register. So I spoke to a great guy at Health Education England who explained to me that due to COVID, we could go through the same route as international nurses to get back on the nursing register. And so he explained all the different routes that there were and what I could do. And offered that the CBT and OSCE was a much quicker route back into nursing and I wouldn't have to do the hours to get back on the register.

Christina: Yeah. So what did you actually do then? What did you actually have to do to become reregistered?

Kirsty: So I started right back at the beginning. I ordered myself a textbook that the nurses would have when they start their training now. Because obviously training's really changed from when I did it 22 years ago and I needed to do the CBT first. So your sit down written exam, the multiple choice one. But anything could be thrown up in that, anything that new qualified nurse would need to know. So that was my first port of call. And I didn't find the therapy too bad because it was just looking through textbooks and learning things. But then I needed to do the practical OSCEs and all day I had a job in a GP surgery and I was getting practical experience. I wasn't getting the experience that I needed to pass the OSCEs. So this was where I really started to struggle was at the practical element.

Christina: Yeah. So what did you do to help with that?

Kirsty: So I basically researched again on the internet. I found a variety of YouTube channels, but again, they were all targeted at international students. So I was really struggling with finding my own things. And I bought books and things, but nothing was really cementing it in. So I actually had my exam booked for the middle of July and I just bottled it. I was like, I can't do that. I just wasn't ready. And I just felt like I was setting myself up to fail. And I kind of fell across the IELTS website and I looked and thought, actually, maybe this could help me and this would be a way forward.

Kirsty: But what they don't tell you as somebody doing this as an English nurse is that there was no support out there. So I paid for my own exams because no one was bringing me in. And so it meant I would have to pay for my own training with IELTS as well. Fortunately, again, I went back to Health Education England, and I was like, do you know what? There's no support for English nurse. You said that we can go ahead and do the CBT and OSCE, but there's no program to help us, which there are programs for international students coming across. And so they were very lovely and they said that they would give me the money back for my exams and they would also give me the money back for my IELTS training. They said, as long as it was a accredited course, and it was a well-established course, which they were happy the IELTS one was, they were happy to reimburse me with the money, which was a great relief to me.

Christina: Yeah. That's amazing. It's a good job you asked, isn't it?

Kirsty: Yeah. There wasn't a lot of offer of how [inaudible 00:07:52], it was more, everything that I've done through this process kind of been figure it out for yourself or fight for something, ask for something. There's not really been anything kind of offered, which it's been quite difficult really.

Christina: Yeah. It sounds like it has. And I'm sure there's a lot of other people in your position, which is why it's so great that you've come and sort of shared all this information. Because hopefully it'll help somebody else out that's thinking of becoming reregistered. Because obviously a lot of things that we do at IELTS Medical are targeted at overseas and healthcare professionals coming over because the exams and the sort of process that they have to do is quite well known. But yeah, for people re registering as previously registered UK nurses, I guess there's not a lot of information out there.

Kirsty: No, there really isn't. And so it was quite strange because when I came on the course, I think people were quite shocked. Oh, you're a UK nurse. And I was like, yeah, I'm doing the same process as everyone else. But yeah, I'm a UK nurse. And I think the thing is that because when I came on it, yeah, I did know how to do some things. And they did show me how to do the elements that I was missing, but it was also just gave me the confidence about what I'd be asked on the day and how it'd kind of run. Because this was the other thing, people who come across with international nurses, they get the opportunity to do like mock exams within their workplace. I would never get that opportunity. So that was really key, having a mock exam beforehand so I kind of had a feel for what it was going to be like on the day. Then the first time I go through an OSCE process is the day I arrive and do my exam.

Christina: Yeah. That's definitely something to consider isn't it? Because I suppose just walking in, absolutely no idea, would be quite daunting.

Kirsty: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I'd written care plans and things before and done things like that, but I'd never done it in an exam situation. I'd just written them for my patients. And so I knew I could do it, but I just wasn't quite sure exactly what they would want from me at the OSCEs.

Christina: Yeah. And that is definitely something that you need to know really isn't it beforehand.

Kirsty: Yeah.

Christina: So you are now reregistered, is that right? You've got your pin.

Kirsty: Yes, I'm reregistered. I passed my OSCE middle of August.

Christina: Oh great.

Kirsty: I thought it would be ages to get my pin number back. And literally by the end of the week, I had my pin number back. It was a very quick process. So yeah, I could start working as a registered nurse straight away.

Christina: Brilliant. Well, congratulations. And I hope that you enjoy it.

Kirsty: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. It's really great to be back in. It does make you realize that it is definitely, being a nurse is not a career choice really, it's just kind of who you are. And it did really make me realize going back to it, it was just like I'd come home where I was supposed to be really.

Christina: That's so nice. That's really nice. Well, hopefully you've inspired some other people to do the same that were maybe thinking about becoming reregistered. I'm sure that listening to this will help a lot of people. But do you have any final words of advice for anyone that was in your position?

Kirsty: I would say don't worry how long you've been out, you've still got those skills. You've still got those knowledge. It's still really valuable and don't be afraid to ask for help. If I'd have just sat back and just accepted that, oh, this is process I've got to do on my own, I wouldn't probably be where I am. But I accepted the help that was offered to me. And I just asked and if people said no the first time I just asked again until I sort of got the help and support that needed. But yeah, definitely you need to be your own advocate because no one’s going to do it for you.

Christina: Yeah. Well that's great advice I think, and I'm really happy for you. So yeah, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and good luck with everything.

Kirsty: Thank you very much.

Christina: Thank you so much for listening to mine and Kirsty's chat. I really hope that that advice was useful and helpful for both nurses who are coming over from another country and nurses who have previously been registered in the UK and want to reregister. Don't forget to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and we will see you next time. And as always, to your success.