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How To Become A Nurse In Dubai

The coronavirus crisis has highlighted a distinct shortage of nurses in the UAE, as well as across the globe. So if you’ve ever considered becoming a nurse, or have always wanted to pursue a career in nursing—while living abroad—now is the perfect time to get qualified.

This article will highlight everything you need in order to become a nurse in Dubai, and why so many people turn to nursing for a rewarding and satisfying career.

Qualification requirements for UAE nurses

Like in any other country, registered nurses will first need to complete their BSc in Nursing (BSN). There are several universities within the UAE that offer this degree; however, if you are moving from abroad, you can obtain your BSN elsewhere.

Due to the high demand, more colleges are now offering accelerated BSN programs, which can be studied online. These courses still require two weeks of on-campus teaching, as well as placement hours within a clinical setting. Online courses allow those interested in nursing to study while continuing in their current job role. The course can be scheduled around other day-to-day priorities, giving those looking for a career change in later life the chance to work and study at the same time.

Those leaving school are also able to take an accelerated BSN online, or enroll in a full-time on-campus course. If you already have a degree—even if it is in a different industry—you may be eligible for a fast-track course to turn your BSc into a BSN, or to study nursing as a Master’s degree.

DHA registration

In order to be a practicing healthcare worker in the UAE, you will also need to apply for DHA (Dubai Health Association) registration. Like in other countries across the world, Dubai has its own application process for a license to practice. For other areas of the Gulf, you will need to register with HAAD (Abu Dhabi) or MOH (Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, or Ras Al Khaimah). 

In order to be considered for a nursing license in Dubai after studying abroad, you will need:

  • A qualification from an accredited nursing or midwifery course with a minimum of three years in training
  • A Basic Life Support Certificate
  • At least two years' experience as a registered nurse

The DHA application can be done online. Although it is a simple and easy to follow procedure, it is a long process. To prepare, you will need the following paperwork close to hand:

  • A valid passport
  • A passport-style photograph (passport size, white background)
  • Birth certificate
  • Qualification certificates
  • A transcript of all training (in hours) you’ve completed
  • Two previous employment references
  • Registration certificates and verification from any other jurisdictions you have worked in

These documents will need to be scanned in and uploaded to the DHA portal after you have created your application account.The application will cost 1,142 AED, broken into two payments of 210 AED and 932 AED. This covers application fees as well as admin fees to verify your documents. Payments can be deferred for three months, though this is not recommended.

After verification, nurses will be required to take a two-hour multiple choice exam comprising of 70 questions. In order to pass, you will need to answer at least 60% of the questions correctly (42 questions). The cost of the exam is 260AED.

Once you have passed you will receive an eligibility letter that is valid for one year. The whole DHA process is expected to take from 3-6 months, so if you are looking to move to Dubai to be a nurse, it is important to plan in advanced.

Why become a nurse in Dubai?

There are several reasons as to why people pursue a career in nursing.

To start, the work is incredibly rewarding, exciting, and challenging. Every new day brings the chance to truly make a difference. Shift patterns are flexible, and can be worked around other priorities such as childcare and day-to-day activities.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a registered nurse in Dubai is 62,236AED a year, but this can be significantly more for those working in private health practices or for private families.

But, along with a good salary, nurses in Dubai can benefit from several other perks:

  • Relocation allowance to help you move to the UAE
  • Free accommodation or a housing allowance
  • One free flight home a year
  • Dental, health, and life insurance
  • 40 days annual leave
  • Tax-free salary
  • Education allowance for children

Is nursing right for me?

Nursing in Dubai gives registered nurses from across the world the chance to experience life in a new culture and city bursting with life. Dubai also has a huge range of activities for ex-pats to take part in, as well as beautiful beaches, restaurants, and bars.

Becoming a nurse can take you to destinations across the world, and open doors of opportunity no matter where you find yourself. But, is nursing right for you?

To be the best nurse you can be, you will need to be a keen problem solver and critical thinker. Nursing is incredibly challenging, and you will often be required to complete a job with staff, resource, or time shortages. You need to be able to think on your feet to provide solutions to problems even before they are brought to light.

You will also need to be compassionate and empathetic. There will be times where you have to deliver bad news, or support families through trauma. Being able to provide positivity and comfort during these times is vital to being a good nurse.

If you would love to work in nursing, but want to take on a more managerial, administrative role, becoming a nurse executive might be the job for you. These nurses are advocates for others, and work with key decision-markers within the organization to provide patients and staff the best services possible. Here you can truly make a difference to the way nurses work and are treated across the world.

If you think you have what it takes to be a nurse, apply for your BSN now and start your journey.

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