ReSTORE Refugee Nursing Programme

ReSTORE stands for: 

Refugee Support, Training, Orientation, Recruitment and Education for refugee nurses living in South Yorkshire.  

ReSTORE was established in April 2023 as a structured programme for refugees with healthcare backgrounds in their country of origin to become nurses within the NHS.

Based in South Yorkshire, ReSTORE is in its pilot year and runs through the South Yorkshire Primary Care and Workforce Training Hub. 

ReSTORE Programme Background

The Programme is lead by two clinical nurse educators Blerta and Emma

Through Blerta’s lived experiences of going through the system herself, she was inspired to establish a programme for other refugees with a nursing background to join the register of their profession, providing a helping hand in navigating this long and complicated journey.    

ReSTORE was established because: 

  • There is a shortage of nurses in the UK (about 50,000) 
  • To help the NHS cope with increasing pressure that it is under  
  • A migrant workforce should reduce health inequalities and facilitate integration  
  • There are no other programmes focusing on refugee nurses, but there are several across the country for doctors  
  • To enable these nurses to return to a career they love  


ReSTORE Programme Information

Nurses will undertake training for an Occupational English Test (OET), a Computer Based Test (CBT) and Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) 

A combination of these three exams, alongside working as healthcare support workers, should prepare our nurses for nursing careers in the NHS. 

ReSTORE provides pastoral support and liaises with local hospitals and the voluntary sector in South Yorkshire, as well as the Refugee Council and local Job Centres, to offer this structured support.  

It may take around one year to pass the required exams and to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.  

Who can participate in ReSTORE?

Refugees who worked as nurses before coming to the UK. You must have refugee status or be a spouse of a refugee. You must have evidence of your nursing qualification that is equivalent to a UK nursing qualification, as per the NMC requirements.  

How long is the programme? 

It may take a year, minimum.  

Who can refer and how to apply? 

Refugee organisations eg City of Sanctuary, SAVTE, DWP, ESOL courses, healthcare institutions, word of mouth, community forums.

We have a flexible referral and application process, please email to engage with us and arrange an initial interview. 

Which hospitals do we work with? 

ReSTORE has strong links to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital Trust, Barnsley NHS Trust, Huddersfield NHS Trust.

 For Further Queries:

Please contact Blerta and Emma

Contact ReSTORE