IELTS Score for UK Nurses: What you need in 2023

nurse with stethoscopeHave you ever wondered What is the required IELTS score for UK nurses in 2023?

If you have, you’re probably from a country where English is not the primary language, and there’s good news if you’re specifically from the Philippines or India:

Health officials from the UK had plans to hire “5,500 nurses” from these two countries with “500 nurses due to be recruited from overseas by March [2018]” ( and continue to hire nurses in 2023.  If this is your profession, and you’re from one of those countries, you’re probably curious about the requirements to be a nurse in the UK. In this post, we’ll discuss the one we think is most important.  Can you guess what it is?

Well, here is your guide to the necessary IELTS score for nurses wishing to work in the UK!

But first, let’s discuss why this is happening.

Why Does the NHS Plan to Hire Over 5,000 Nurses from India and the Philippines?

The move comes as a restructuring of pay for current hospital workers comes into play, as many are currently able to get up to 60% higher pay for weekend shifts.  This, however, could result in controversial changes to the contracts offered to junior doctors, which might result in conflict over the new model.

By bringing in nurses from the Philippines and India, the NHS can begin filling in for the lack of family practitioners while training foreign nurses who would receive placement in UK hospitals on the agreement that they will add to their skills and return home with a greater knowledge and understanding of the practice.

This has been called an ‘earn, learn, and return’ agreement by the chief executive of Health Education England.  Other members have voiced concern over potential difficulties and mishaps resulting from language difficulties for foreign nurses adjusting to a new system, and so we arrive at the importance of scoring high on the IELTS exam for nurses!

What are the IELTS Band Score Requirements to be a Nurse in the UK?

England red telephone boothLet’s get right into it:

What IELTS score is required to work as a nurse in the UK?

Well, to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively in English, you’ll need to provide an official (not a paid-for false document from the internet) IELTS certificate that states that you scored:

  • a 7.0 or above in the Listening and Reading sections
  • a 7.0 or above in the Writing and Speaking sections, and
  • a 7.0 or above overall.

Combined IELTS Test Scores

To make it a bit more complex, but also beneficial to you, you can combine scores from 2 tests if you abide by the following regulations regarding the accepted test scores:

  • you must take the exams within six months of each other
  • you must be tested on all 4 skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) at the same time
  • “all scores in both sittings are above 6.5 and you achieve 7.0 or higher in all four fields when the results of both sittings are viewed together”

I know that you’re probably wondering what this might look like in terms of examples for IELTS scores, so check out the table below:

            Listening   Reading   Writing   Speaking

Test 1:      7.5             6.5             7.0            7.5

Test 2:      8.0              7.5            6.5            7.0

The candidate has scored a 7.0 or higher in all sections and has not scored lower than a 6.5 between the two tests. Remember to assume that the 2 tests were taken within 6 months of one another.

As long as you don’t score below a 6.5 in either of the two tests, and you manage to score above 7.0 in each of the sections over 2 tests taken within 6 months of one another, you’re eligible to be accepted to work as a nurse in the UK!

So, how can you go about achieving these scores?

How to Earn the Required IELTS Score for UK Nurses

First, you’re definitely going to want to visit the other blog posts here on the Awaken IELTS blog.  We have posts about how to improve your IELTS listening skills and IELTS writing skills among many others, and we’re always adding to it!

But we get it:

Sometimes simply reading strategies about how to prepare and study for the IELTS exam simply doesn’t cut it, and you need actual feedback from a certified native speaker.

Luckily, our friends over at Live Lingua offer online, one-to-one IELTS preparation lessons so that you can get personalized and direct feedback to get the band score you need!

>>>Speak to an IELTS Tutor Today-Your Trial Lesson is FREE!<<<

Their instructors have over 200 years of combined experience teaching English, and many have Master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s, so you’re in good hands!

There are classes available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, so you can study for the IELTS when it’s convenient for you, and you receive bigger discounts when you book more classes! This is useful because there are 4 entire sections to study for, so you’ll need to put in the effort to get the band score you need. With that kind of personal attention, you’ll be ready to go after that 7.0 on the IELTS and become a nurse in the UK in no time.

Final Word on IELTS Scores for Nurses in the UK

With such a large number of nurses trying to come to the UK from India and the Philippines, you’ll want to make sure your IELTS scores set you apart from the rest of the applicants.

Make sure to set aside enough time to study in order to earn the required 7.0 band score so the transition to the new health care system in the Uk can be as smooth as possible.  We believe in you here at Awaken IELTS!

As always, email us with any questions about the exam, check back on our blog for updates, and schedule your FREE IELTS trial lesson with Live Lingua today!

7 thoughts on “IELTS Score for UK Nurses: What you need in 2023

    • Thanks for reaching out!

      What exactly are you looking for so I can better help you: the nurses themselves or IELTS training so you can become a nurse in the UK? 🙂


  • hi, I have a niece that wanted to study an ielts and she is in the Philippines right now. she is currently working as a company nurse at the moment. I wanted to know if you are providing visas? and how much it cost?

    i value your reply

    • Hi Beverly,
      This website is for preparing students to pass the IELTS exam as part of the process to move, work, or study abroad. We are only an educational resource and cannot provide visas, but we can help her pass the exam if she hasn’t yet :). Just let us know, and we’d be happy to send her some materials to start.


      • Pls want to ask
        What of someone that wrote ielts s with a band score of 6.0 and passed CBT exams
        Is there any way to get visa to work as a UK nurse

  • Pls want to ask
    What of someone that wrote ielts s with a band score of 6.0 and passed CBT exams
    Is there any way to get visa to work as a UK nurse

  • Pls want to ask
    What of someone that wrote ielts s with a band score of 6.0 and passed CBT exams
    Is there any way to get visa to work as a UK nurse

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