An acute trust in the West Country has launched an innovative recruitment scheme aimed at overseas nurses already in the UK, but currently working in non-registered jobs.
Under the scheme, successful applicants will initially work at the trust in support roles while they receive “rigorous training and support” to help them through the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s registration process.
“The trust is fully committed to high quality patient care and we are doing a lot of work to recruit the best staff to help us achieve this aim”
Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust launched the campaign earlier this month with a target of recruiting 40 qualified nurses from overseas who currently lack NMC registration.
Candidates could, for example, be healthcare assistants working in local care settings or nursing homes, it said.
In line with Agenda for Change, successful applicants will earn a £16,633 per annum salary while in training and a salary of between £21,692 to £28,180 per annum once they join the register.
Acute trust seeks to temp overseas nurses already in UK
The training scheme covers International English language testing (IELTS) and then NMC registration, including support with the Objective Structured Clinical Examination.
Eve Russel, the trust’s assistant director of HR, said those chosen would work at band 2 level while on the training programme and be expected to complete a 12-week IELTS course one day per week.
Nurse recruitment manager Adam Kirton told Nursing Times the trust was “doing a lot of work to recruit the best staff” but in the “context of a national shortage in nursing supply”.
“We have an established recruitment programme aimed at newly qualified staff nurses and medical staff which includes recruitment fairs, open days, partnership building links with schools and universities and as part of this, we were at the London Nurse Show earlier this week,” he said.
“We are also recruiting through ongoing schemes such as return to practice and recommend a colleague as well as overseas recruitment,” he added.
“We support any employer who implements innovative solutions to address the problem”
The Royal College of Nursing’s regional branch for the South West welcomed the launch of the scheme.
Andrew Christaki, RCN regional officer for Somerset and Gloucestershire, said: “The recruitment scheme will enable experienced and qualified staff who are already in the country to become UK registered and join the professional nursing workforce where they are so desperately needed.”
Mr Christaki noted that the RCN had long “highlighted the risk of low training numbers for student nurses”, which he said had contributed to the “current recruitment crisis” across the health service.
“We therefore support any employer who implements innovative solutions to address the problem,” he added.
Those on the scheme will be based at the trust’s Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
Applicants must be qualified nurses in their home country, have completed a year’s experience after qualifying and have the right to work in the UK, said the trust. Applications will close on 6 March with interviews to follow.