The NursesPTO crew

The Nurse License Exam: the UK vs. the USA

The process

In the USA the process to become a nurse and the taking of the exam is different in each and every state. There is not a common consistency, the variables are different anywhere you go. There are educational bounds and expectations, as well as an expected compliance regarding drugs, compliance with the law, and educational expectations. When I say each state has different requirements, it’s entirely true. The educational requirements alone can be viewed at a global credibility website having a direct report regarding nursing qualification. (

It shows that the educational value varies state to state and truly makes a conflict in the process of becoming a nurse and offering one’s self to a job meant to provide help toward the public.

In the UK the expectation to having completed ‘X’ amount of time as a midwife is required to begin the process. From there, there is an expectation of financial commitment and good grades to properly be eligible for the test. The test is composed of multiple choice questions as well as role play and is continuously being developed to better improve and only allow the best in the business to pass and offer service in its reference.

The Comparison

Both the USA and UK both have a very strong regard to taking the test very seriously. Both involve multiple choice questions and both are in constant development. The credibility for being eligible for the test may be more difficult in the USA but the test itself sounds more complete and difficult in the UK. In a field such as nursing many of the potential students are deterred due to the high cost to complete the course, as well as the amount of time and commitment. There are various small courses to take to prepare better for the test, but the passing rate remains in the low percentages.

The percentages in the USA vary from college to college and don’t have a general consensus to offer as an overall number. The same can be said for the UK as they don’t provide an actual number for percentage but do claim that the passing rate for international nurses is very low.

The Benefits

Becoming a licensed nurse is a license for success forever. Once you have a piece of paper that shows you have passed the test and requirements to practice medicine and offer care of such nature you will never have difficulty finding a job again. It is a job in constant need and the biggest downfall is the amount of discouragement in people failing trying to obtain the degree. With the proper motivation and hard work it is achievable but in no way or means is it an easy task.

The Run Down

Between the USA and the UK both tests offer a great degree of difficulty to obtain, but overall it seems the UK test is the more difficult one to pass. With constant modification and the various testing procedures they are applying to their test it is becoming more hands on and less affiliated with multiple choice. Whereas the USA test continues to primarily focus on multiple choice and written response reports and not as much as on the role playing standpoint that offers a much more beneficial gain for the field of work it is being applied to.

By allowing the potential nurses to apply hands on treatment as a means to pass a test, it prepares them for the real equivalent of doing their actual job. By focusing a test around writing out answers and claims as to how to handle a situation, it takes away from the action of actually doing it. By allowing the want to be nurses to take a hands on approach it shows that they can handle being in the moment, and prepares them efficiently for the next step.


Nursing is a field where more people need to get involved. Our world is in a heavy need for nurses and you can never have enough people that are willing to help others. Don’t be drawn away from the known fact that a test is difficult, be motivated by the fact that there are people who pass it, and helping someone in a time of need is a feeling that will never get old.

About Richard McMunn: Richard is the author of this post and owner of, the UK’s leading training and recruitment specialist for careers. The focus is on providing applicants with the knowledge they need to pass any selection processes. The site currently offers over 140 different titles. You can also engage with How2become on Facebook


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“My mom is a nurse, she can fix anything”

I got the biggest compliment of my life the other day. My little boy who is 10, was playing with his neighborhood friend who crashed his bike. In they come, neighbor kid with a bloody knee and a nice case of road rash. My little boy looked at his friend and smiled then said “My mom is a nurse, she can fix anything.”  I giggled, knowing good and well I wish I could fix anything. We got the injured knee all washed, cleaned and bandaged and out the door they flew only to take on the days challenges that were left.

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I know this has nothing officially to do with being a nurse but, I just wanted to share with you the biggest compliment of my life. Sometimes it’s nice just to slow down, take a look around and truly appreciate what God has bestowed upon you.