Dubai: Interested in Pursuing a Nursing Career? Here are the Requirements & Processes for Expats

Dubai: Interested in Pursuing a Nursing Career? Here are the Requirements & Processes for Expats

In Dubai, you can spot nurses everywhere, whether it's on the metro early in the morning or grabbing coffee. Wearing their colorful scrubs, these important workers play a big role in healthcare. Many nurses from different countries have moved to Dubai, adding to the city's large nursing workforce. During the pandemic, the UAE changed its rules to give frontline workers, including nurses, a chance to get a Golden Visa, allowing them to stay in the country for up to 10 years. Also, in 2022, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced that nurses no longer need two years of work experience to get a license, making it easier to find a job. This change was supported by health authorities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.

If you're an expat interested in becoming a nurse in Dubai, here's what you need to know about education and licensing requirements.

Educational requirements

According to the Dubai Health Authority, different types of nurses have different educational requirements:

  1. Registered Nurse:
    • Must have a bachelor's degree in nursing from a full-time program lasting at least three years.
    • Those with a two-year nursing degree must also be registered as a nurse in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, or Australia.
  2. Assistant Nurse:
    • Must hold a nursing diploma lasting at least 18 months.
  3. School Nurse:
    • Applicants must be registered nurses and certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
  4. Nurse Practitioner:
    • Must meet registered nurse requirements and have a clinical master's or doctoral degree in nursing.
    • Alternatively, they can have equivalent qualifications in pharmacology for prescribing drugs or in differential diagnosis and interpretation of diagnostic tests.
    • Those with national certification or a license as a nurse practitioner must also meet registered nurse requirements.
  5. Specialty Nurse:
    • Must have a clinical master's degree in a nursing specialty lasting at least one year.
    • Alternatively, a bachelor's degree in a nursing specialty lasting at least three years is sufficient.

Experience required

Under the revised laws in Dubai:

  • Registered and assistant nurses are no longer required to have prior experience to practice in the city.
  • School nurses must have two years of experience as a registered nurses, with one year specifically in pediatrics, ICU, or the emergency department.
  • Nurse practitioners need to demonstrate two years of post-qualification experience.
  • Specialty nurses with a one-year Clinical Masters degree in a nursing specialty must have one year of experience post-qualification in the specialized field.
  • Those with a three-year bachelor's degree in a nursing specialty need two years of experience post-qualification in the relevant field.

Other requirements

In addition to the main education and experience criteria, here are other essential factors for aspiring nurses in Dubai:

  • Applicants must be graduates from nationally or internationally recognized colleges or universities.
  • Graduates from universities in the UAE must have attended accredited programs approved by the Ministry of Education.
  • Expatriates graduating from UAE universities must undergo six months of clinical training at an APS health facility after graduation. However, this requirement does not apply to registered and assistant nurses.
  • GCC nationals must also complete six months of clinical training at an APS health facility after graduation, except for registered and assistant nurses.

Process in Dubai

Once healthcare professionals have gathered all necessary documents and qualifications, they need to apply to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to obtain their license to practice in Dubai.

Here's a step-by-step guide to the registration process:

  1. Provide a recent passport-sized photo, a copy of your passport, and a logbook for surgical specialties if applicable.
  2. Complete the Self-Assessment Tool service, a free online test to check if you meet the standards set by the Unified Healthcare Professional Requirements (PQR). If you don't pass on the first attempt, you'll receive a 'not eligible' result and can review your eligibility.
  3. Fill out, link, and submit the online application for the service.
  4. For nurses and midwives, a fee of Dh200 is required, which must be paid.
  5. The DHA will review your application and provide a result.
  6. Depending on your position, the authority may require an oral assessment.
  7. Once you pass, you'll be registered and become part of the Dubai Medical Registry.
  8. After registration, it's the responsibility of the hiring medical facility to activate your healthcare professional's license.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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