Top 10 UK Recruitment Agencies for Nurses - Fasthire (2024)

According to a report by NHS, nursing is the most employable degree in the UK, with 94 percent of graduate nurses gaining employment within six months of graduation. On the heels of this, the number of qualified nurses continues to increase by the day, leading to massive competition for available jobs. With the help of a recruitment agency, you stand a better chance of landing your choice nursing job. This article would examine the nursing profession in the UK. And the role recruitment agencies play and also reveals the top 10 UK recruitment agencies for nurses.

More so, with the rise of more qualified nurses and the frequent influx of qualified nurses into the UK, getting employed as a nurse is no longer as easy as it used to be. If you’re looking to relocate from your present country of residence to the UK to work as a nurse, then looking for available opportunities yourself might not be very productive, this is where the role of recruitment agencies comes to play.

At the moment, recruitment agencies form the bedrock of employment all over the world. Through their activities, qualified and trained nurses have gotten meaningful employment in the UK and other parts of the world.

Nursing Profession in the UK

The nursing profession in the United Kingdom has come of age. Thanks to Florence Nightingale who broke new grounds in modern nursing. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she introduced formal schools of nursing in the United Kingdom.

Over 500,000 nurses work in the United Kingdom in different settings such as hospitals, health centers, nursing homes. And the likes. Most of these nurses work for National Health Service (NHS).

Before now, nurses were seen as mere assistants to doctors, but that has changed in recent times. Nurses are now perceived as professionals in their own right. In the United Kingdom, nurses often serve in multidisciplinary teams but can now be found working independently. And taking up vital managerial roles in the health industry.

All nurses and nursing associates in the United Kingdom must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Only those who hold such registration are allowed the title “registered nurse”; as laid down in the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997.

If you’re wondering whether or not there are opportunities for foreign-trained nurses in the United Kingdom, the answer is yes. There’re numerous opportunities and provisions for foreign-trained nurses who wish to work in the United Kingdom. However, to make this possible, the Nurses and Midwifery Council has a detailed process for inducting nurses who trained outside the United Kingdom/European Union.

Overseas Nursing Program

Before October 2016, a foreign-trained nurse was required to undergo an Overseas Nursing Program. ONP for short, before becoming a United Kingdom Registered Nurse. The ONP is undertaken by the candidate after NMC completes necessary checks and issue the candidate a decision letter stating that the person may join a university to undertake the ONP.

However, due to the shortage of nurses and the NMC’s pursuit of gold standards in nursing they have now updated their new process to a two-part test of competence. The first part is a Computer-Based Test (CBT) consisting of 120 multiple choice questions for 4 hours. And Part 2 is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Why Use Recruitment Agencies?

People can get well through self-medication, but that is often an uncertain and long route to medical fitness. The same applies to looking for a job on your own, especially in a foreign country. A recruitment agency specializes in helping organizations/corporations get suitable candidates for vacant positions/offices. They’re the bridge between employers and employees. Hence, your chances of landing your choice job are increased when you engage a trusted agency.

A trusted recruitment agency has experience in the employment space and country you’re looking to get a job in, this experience would come in handy for you. Usually, there’re grey areas you may not already be aware of, but a recruitment agency can help you identify and clarify them.

Their expert opinion can help you brush up on your curriculum vitae/résumé and cover letter. You’ll most likely get very tips on how best and how not to arrange and present the details highlighted in your curriculum vitae/résumé and cover letter.

A good recruitment agency has your interest at heart and would typically present you with vacant positions that suit you.

A helpful tip in this regard is to establish a cordial relationship with any recruitment agency you choose to contact. This way, they won’t find it difficult to help you in your search for employment.

Top 10 UK Recruitment Agencies for Nurses

If you’re in search of employment opportunities in the UK nursing profession and need help doing so, the following are the top 10 UK recruitment agencies for nurses.

1. Ambition 24 Hours

This is one of the United Kingdom’s leading nursing agencies with over 20 years worth of experience. Along with a booking team that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they offer a variety of staffing and recruitment opportunities for agency nurses and care assistants.

For more information about them, check Ambition 24 Hours.

2. The Flame Lily

The Flame Lily is one of the United Kingdom’s leading framework-approved healthcare, nursing, and medical recruitment agency. Quality is at the heart of everything they do – their recent NHS audit score of above 97% compliance underlies the same sentiment. They’re an approved NHS supplier for more than nineteen years.

Check The Flame Lily for more information.

3. Nursing Personnel

This agency is part of Medical Professional Personnel Ltd. They’re an NHS Framework approved highest paying nursing agency under the Health Trust Europe NHS framework agreement. They’re approved to supply NHS Hospitals in all regions across the UK in all specialties.

Nursing personnel is a highly experienced nursing agency that regularly recruits staff for the NHS. Check Nursing Personnel for more information.

4. Kate Cowhig International Healthcare Recruitment

KCR empowers their candidate nurses to find the perfect fit for their future career in Irish or United Kingdom healthcare. Their dedicated recruiters aim to help their candidates every step of the way, from their initial interview through to their arrival in their new career.

Since their recruiters only work in the healthcare sector, they can offer solid support, in-depth knowledge, and a personal touch. For more information about them, check Kate Cowhig International Healthcare Recruitment.

5. Mayday Healthcare

Mayday Healthcare is a leading nursing agency, specializing in the recruitment of nurses and healthcare professionals throughout the United Kingdom, both in the private sector and the NHS. Their live vacanciesinclude agency nurse jobs, A&E nurse jobs, and midwife jobs.

They prioritize providing exceptional service to their clients and agency nurses alike while working to reduce off-framework spend and minimize clinical risk. Check Mayday Healthcare for more information.

6. HW Healthcare LTD

HW Healthcare is an established nursing agency with 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, empowering them with an understanding of what care/nursing homes expect from their agency partners as well as knowing how valuable their staff is.

The brand believes that nurses should earn what they deserve. Click to find out more about HW Healthcare.

7. Take Five Healthcare

This nursing agency and training provider specializes in providing staffing support to the care sector. They support care and nursing homes, community care providers, hospices, and supported living & working environments throughout Gloucestershire and the surrounding areas.

You can know more about them by clicking Take Five Healthcare.

8. Drake Medox

They work with NHS Trusts and independent hospitals to manage successful international recruitment projects. They have a record of successfully placing more than 18,000 healthcare professionals in hospitals in the United Kingdom since 1998.

See Drake Medox for more information about them.

9. Pearls International Recruitment Agency

Thisis an established independent nursing and care recruitment agency with over 16 years of experience in supporting organizations of all sizes. They operate globally, sourcing and placing nurses,care, and allied health professionals, in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and around the world.

See Pearls International Recruitment Agency for more information.

10. Tezlom™ – Professional Healthcare and Nursing Recruitment Agency.

Simply put, they specialize in the hiring of Care Assistants, Support Workers, and Registered Nurses. Over time, the agency has grown into an established franchise that serves some of the United Kingdom’s largest, most renowned care providers such as NHS Hospitals and many more.

See Tezlom™ for more information.


Nurses play an important role in society, they shouldn’t struggle to get a job that allows them to serve society, live in their country of choice, and earn a good living.

Recruitment agencies have been largely responsible for the unimpeded influx of nurses into the UK health care system hence reducing the propensity for the dearth of nurses in the UK. If you are looking for a nursing job in the UK, increase your chances by engaging any of the agencies referenced in this article.

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Top 10 UK Recruitment Agencies for Nurses - Fasthire (2024)


Which agency is best for recruiting nurses in UK? ›

Ambition24Hours is the UK's leading nursing agency, offering various flexible staffing and recruitment opportunities for agency nurses and care assistants.

Who are the biggest healthcare recruitment agencies in the UK? ›

Biggest companies in the Health-care Staff Recruitment Agencies industry in the UK. IBIS World covers 4 companies in the Health-care Staff Recruitment Agencies in the UK industry, including Medacs Healthcare plc, ID Medical Group Ltd, TFS Healthcare Ltd and MedicsPro Ltd.

What is the highest paying nursing agency in the UK? ›

Ambition24hours is the leading nursing agency in the UK. We aim to pay the highest rates nationally. Our current pay rates are available on our website below; please note that pay rates for individual contracts will vary due to contractual arrangements we may have.

What is the biggest UK recruitment company? ›

Top 20 recruitment firms in the UK
  • DevsData.
  • Michael Page UK.
  • Huntress Group.
  • Manpower UK.
  • Reed.
  • Morgan Hunt.
  • Propel.
  • Randstad UK.
Jan 4, 2023

Can American nurses work in the UK? ›

To work in the UK, you can apply for a Health and Care Worker visa. This allows you to work with the NHS, which is the UK's publicly funded healthcare system. You can also apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Nursing is on the UK's Shortage Occupation List, which gives you an advantage when applying.

Is UK still recruiting overseas nurses? ›

The NHS has always benefited from overseas recruitment and from nurses coming from other countries to live and work in England. Recruitment from outside of the UK continues to feature as an important part of the workforce supply strategy of NHS organisations, in line with the NHS People Plan.

How do I find a recruiter UK? ›

How to find a headhunter
  1. Use search engines. ...
  2. Check networking sites. ...
  3. Improve your chances of a headhunter finding you. ...
  4. Ask contacts for recommendations. ...
  5. Search on job sites. ...
  6. Find headhunters that specialise in your industry. ...
  7. Research the headhunter and agency before working with them. ...
  8. Seek and use their valuable feedback.
Nov 30, 2021

Do the NHS use recruitment agencies? ›

There are a handful of ways that you can apply for NHS positions. The two most popular and successful ways are to apply through an agency or via the NHS jobs website.

Which consultancy is best for job in UK? ›

The top consulting firms in the UK for Recruitment services:
  • Accenture. Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a range of services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. ...
  • Deloitte. ...
  • KPMG. ...
  • McKinsey & Company. ...
  • Bain & Company. ...
  • PA Consulting. ...
  • Elixirr. ...
  • FTI Consulting.

Does US pay nurses more than UK? ›

And when salaries are compared to each country's average annual income, the UK ranks 24th out of 32 countries. Belgium, the US, Norway and Ireland all pay their nurses more than the UK does.

What type of nurses are most in demand UK? ›

High Demand Nursing Specialties in the UK
  • Neonatal nurse.
  • Dialysis nurse.
  • Midwife.
  • Advocate nurse.
Jul 8, 2022

Which nursing specialty is in highest demand in UK? ›

The average annual salary for a paediatric nurse in the UK is £31,702, making it one of the most demanding and highest-paid nursing jobs. There are currently over 55,000 nurses working as children's nurses in the UK, with thousands of job openings in the field.

What is the most requested job in UK? ›

Career Prospects: The project manager position is currently one of the most in-demand jobs in UK in 2023. There are over 22,000 job openings throughout the country, with new ones opening up every day, and many of them are available to those who have a business or related degree.

How much do recruiters charge in the UK? ›

The cost of a recruitment agency to an employer will really depend on the role being filled. Standard recruitment costs tend to range between 15% and 20% of a candidate's first annual salary, but this can go as high as 30% for hard to fill positions.

Are recruitment agencies worth it UK? ›

In short, the answer is, YES! Recruitment Agencies have a vast amount of knowledge and insight into the job market, and into specific industry sectors that they recruit in.

How can a nurse move from USA to UK? ›

How to get a job in the UK
  1. Recruitment process for overseas nurses. ...
  2. Apply for UK visa sponsorship. ...
  3. Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ...
  4. Demonstrate English Language Proficiency. ...
  5. UK Code of Practice for Ethical Recruitment. ...
  6. My experience moving to the UK as a Nurse.

Can an RN from US work in London? ›

International nurses coming to work in the UK will need to apply for a Tier 2 Visa. Our clients in the U.K. will pay for or reimburse the cost of your visa. Our clients will pay for or reimburse your flight to the UK.

Is it better to be a nurse in UK or USA? ›

OK, UK has better vacation, usually 7 weeks, free health care, more job security, better training options (usually free), and the ability to move around the country while still retaining all your benefits. US has better pay.

Can a US nurse become a nurse in UK? ›

If you have been working as a registered nurse in the United States for at least a year, with a bachelor's degree, and have a desire to work abroad, you can become a nurse in the UK as well*! *2021 Update: Things with registration are ever changing since I did the application for my nursing pin in the UK.

What is the age limit to work as a nurse in UK? ›

There is no upper age limit to start nurse training but you should discuss any concerns that you might have about your suitability for training with the universities offering courses.

How to get a job as a nurse in the UK? ›

  1. Demonstrate English Language Proficiency. ...
  2. Complete NMC Eligibility & Qualification Application. ...
  3. Take the Computer Based Test (CBT) ...
  4. Attend Direct or Online Interview & Secure Job Offer. ...
  5. Secure Certificate of Sponsorship from Employer. ...
  6. Submit Tier 2 Health & Care Worker Visa Application. ...
  7. Travel to UK.

How do I get hired in the UK? ›

Do this by making good use of the following resources:
  1. careers fairs and events.
  2. GOV. UK's Find a Job service.
  3. jobs boards.
  4. local and national press.
  5. recruitment agencies.
  6. sector-specific websites.
  7. social media.
  8. university careers and employment services.

How long does the recruitment process take UK? ›

How long does recruitment usually take? According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average recruitment process is 42 days in duration. It's important to note that this will likely vary depending on your industry, location, EVP, and the role in question.

How many recruitment agencies fail UK? ›

It's difficult to get an exact number of how many UK start-ups, in particular start-up recruitment agencies, fail in the first two years, but estimates put this figure at around 60%.

Why is NHS struggling to recruit? ›

1. Workplace pressure. Workplace pressure is one of the biggest NHS workforce challenges, which has been amplified dramatically since the pandemic. A Royal College of Nursing employment survey, published in December 2021, highlights issues of staff morale, sickness absence and the prospect of rising vacancies.

Why is NHS recruitment so slow? ›

As NHS recruiters and healthcare providers are faced with increasing pressures - not just from the Covid-19 crisis, but also as a result of ongoing regulatory and compliance issues - many are now reaching out to HR, compliance and onboarding software developers, to help them meet their recruitment requirements and to ...

Is it better to go through a recruitment agency? ›

The benefits of working with a specialised recruiter to find your next job are multiplied as their networks, skills and experience run deeper and increase the likeliness of matching you with a perfect role.

Do UK companies hire foreigners? ›

You need to have a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK. The new system does not apply to EEA or Swiss citizens you already employ in the UK.

What is the best job for foreigners in UK? ›

Popular graduate jobs
  • Business analyst.
  • Data scientist.
  • Finance analyst/adviser.
  • HR manager.
  • Marketing and sales professionals.
  • Nurse.
  • Project manager.
  • Software developer.

Where is the easiest place to get a job in UK? ›

Oxfordshire is the easiest place in the UK to find a local job, while jobseekers in places in Scotland and Wales struggle the most, according to new data released by the world's largest job site, Indeed.
The 10 easiest places in the UK to get a local job.
1North Ayrshire
3Rhondda, Cynon, Taf
6 more rows
Mar 5, 2020

Which state in UK pays nurses the most? ›

Highest paying cities for Registered Nurses near England
  • Preston. £22.53 per hour. 876 salaries reported.
  • Leeds. £20.36 per hour. 1.1k salaries reported.
  • Sheffield. £19.42 per hour. 657 salaries reported.
  • £19.22 per hour. 15.4k salaries reported.
  • Birmingham. £17.81 per hour. 2.1k salaries reported.

How much do nurses in the UK make in US dollars? ›

In England, the 2017-2018 starting annual pay for nurses is between $21,456 and $21,828 (in U.S. dollars).

Which country pays nurses the most? ›

1. Luxembourg - $91,000 (USD) Currently topping the list as the highest-paid country in the world for nurses, this tiny country in Western Europe pays its nurses very well. Because of the tiny size of the country and its tax haven laws, getting a job as a nurse is extremely difficult.

Where do the happiest nurses work? ›

Let's take a look at some nursing specialties where nurses report being happiest.
  • School Nurse. ...
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse. ...
  • Case Management Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Educator. ...
  • Parish Nurse. ...
  • Travel Nurse.
Aug 26, 2022

Are nurses underpaid in UK? ›

Over the last 10 years, nurses in England have seen a real-terms pay cut of almost 20%.

Is it worth being a nurse in UK? ›

Nursing is the right choice if you need high income, it is a well-paying job that would change your life and it is suitable for both genders. If you are clamouring for financial stability it is a great job to consider.

Is it easy to get a job as a nurse UK? ›

Did you know nursing is the UK's most employable type of degree, with 94% of students getting a job within six months of finishing their course? If you're eligible you can also receive at least £5,000 in financial support every year of your degree.

What is starting salary for nurses UK? ›

Newly-qualified nurses start in Band 5 on the NHS pay scale, with a starting salary of £27,055 a year in England (increased somewhat in London). Band 6 nurses earn £33,706 to £40,588, while Band 7 nurses earn between £41,659 and £47,672 a year, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

What is the most prestigious nurse? ›

The highest level of clinical nursing is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), which is a nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist.

Which is the best nursing union to join in UK? ›

The Royal College of Nursing is the world's largest nursing union and professional body. We represent close to half a million nurses, student nurses, midwives and nursing support workers in the UK and internationally.

Is there a high demand for nurses in UK? ›

So, there's a 3.37% increase in Registered Nurses year-on-year for 2022. The total number of people on the NMC permanent register is 758,303. This includes Nurses, Midwives, and Nursing Associates. This is up from 731,900 the previous year.

Is it easy to get into nursing UK? ›

Typically you'll need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4/C or above (possibly in English language or literature and a science subject), plus two A levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications for an undergraduate degree. Some universities may ask for three A levels or equivalent.

Is nursing good pay in UK? ›

In the category "nurses and health visitors", the average basic pay per full-time employee was given as £34,275, but that is a figure for March 2021. The government says that figure increased to £35,600 by March 2022, and that nurses were then given a £1,400 increase, which should take the average up to £37,000.

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