Olga Englezou, a care home nurse in London, shares her experience about working in the UK. Read her story below:
“I was working as a nurse in a state hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece for seven years. I was thinking of moving to the UK back in 2012, but I postponed my relocation due to health problems. I decided to start my nursing career in the UK because of better career opportunities, training and payment.
I found out about HCL Permanent through an online job advert, which I applied to in March 2015. I was already living in London for six months and I still remember when my Greek-speaking consultant called me with a kind supportive voice. I felt that I can do everything when I have such a good recruiter.
It took me some time to collect and translate all of my documentation in Greece, but as soon as I submitted the required documents to the NMC, I didn’t need to wait long for my PIN number. Then, I started working in Autumn Gardens care home in July 2015. I am feeling very well here – there is a very supportive environment with great team work; I always receive help from colleagues. There are even few other Greek nurses at the care home, which is lovely.
The biggest challenge I had was finding longer-term accommodation as it wasn’t easy to rent a flat or room when I hadn’t been living in the country for long. A lot of documents were required such as bank statements. Luckily, I managed to find a suitable place after the first month of accommodation, provided by the care home.
I’d say there are a lot of differences between the healthcare system in Greece and the one in the UK. For example, in Greece I was working from 7am to 3pm, then I went back home for few hours and started working again from 11pm to 7am. The shifts were very long, rarely with a day off. In the UK, the working time is much better-structured, with days off every week. As a nurse I need to rest, so I really enjoy my days off now. Also, in Greece the nursing staff is not properly trained, so they cannot provide a lot of support to new nurses, and according to me, the best healthcare to patients.
I know it is difficult to leave your country, friends and family and start from the scratch somewhere else, but being a nurse in the UK is a great experience. I’d definitely recommend and advise anyone who wants to be a nurse here, not to hesitate and just call HCL Permanent. You will always have your friends and family by your side, but here you will have fantastic career opportunities and will expand your knowledge. I’m really glad I made the step and I called HCL Permanent, I don’t regret it at all. From the beginning HCL was beside me for support – not only during the interview, but also with preparing all the documents. My Greek recruiter understood better than anyone else what it is to move countries and pursue a better future. HCL Permanent has been helping me in any difficult situation that I had to deal with. I would like to thank everyone for all the help they have been providing me with. Keep doing such a good work.”
Interested in working in the UK?
Here at HCL Permanent, we understand moving to a new country can be challenging. We support candidates, like Olga, every step of the way. We have helped hundreds of foreign nurses find their dream permanent roles in the UK. You can be next… Start your journey today by registering online, uploading your CV or checking our complete list of nursing permanent vacancies. For further information, please contact us.