Working in the UK as a Nurse – What’s Different Compared to the US?


Working in the UK as a Nurse – What’s Different Compared to the US?

March 08, 2022

If you’ve worked as a nurse in the US and are thinking of finding work in the UK, there’s a mountain of opportunity waiting for you. Thing is, there are a few differences you’ll have to be ready for. We list some of these below.

Switch Your Measurements!

You’ll have to adapt to the UK’s measurement systems. Forget “CCs” and get used to millimetres, for example! While many weights are taken in KG, you’ll also need to get used to working in stones and pounds.


Many hospitals provide a conversion chart to new nurses to help with this.


In many hospitals across the US, nurses are trained to check for a pulse before starting CPR chest compressions. In the UK, however, this is generally considered as a waste of valuable time.


Once you’ve determined that the person is unconscious and unresponsive, begin compressions immediately. Your UK training will bring you up to speed with the most recent advice.

It’s a Cannula, Not an IV

Another common obstacle for originally US nurses is “IVs” VS “cannulas”. The former term is preferred in the states while the latter is used in the UK. 

NHS Salaries

Clocking in and out is usually unnecessary when working with the NHS. Your salary will be paid automatically each month. Overtime is recorded in a logbook throughout each week.

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