A local award to celebrate the work of international nurses in Nottingham is helping counter negative perceptions of overseas recruitment, its organisers have told Nursing Times.
For the third year running, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is partnering with a local paper, the Nottingham Post, to run the Nurse and Midwife of the Year awards, formerly known as the People’s Nurse of the Year awards.
“This is a really good opportunity to show these people are highly-skilled professionals”
However, this year the award categories have been expanded to include one specifically for overseas nurses.
Sue Haines, assistant director nursing at the trust, said the award was intended to recognise the “amazing” work and vital contribution of nurses who had come to work in England from abroad.
“There has been a lot of negative media about the NHS recruiting international nurses so this is a really good opportunity to show these people are highly-skilled professionals,” she said.
The awards see members of the public nominate local nurses and midwives. Candidates are shortlisted and profiled in the paper and the public then get to vote for a winner.
Previously there were just three award categories for children’s nursing, adult nursing and midwifery.
But the concept has proved so popular that categories have been extended this year to also include healthcare assistant, student nurse and international nurse of the year.
Ms Haines said the awards were a great way to promote nursing in general, though the trust had been particularly keen to feature international nurses.
In the past year it has recruited more than 100 new nurses from Italy and Portugal. It is also currently recruiting in the Philippines.
Trust celebrates overseas nurses with new award
“The nurses we have recruited from Portugal and Italy are highly-qualified, skilled and compassionate,” said Ms Haines.
“The award is a way of showcasing to the local community that these are amazing nurses doing fantastic work – to help build public confidence,” she said.
She added: “They are true members of our teams and it is not just a matter of us trying to fill vacancies with anybody.”
Ms Haines said the awards were also a good way to promote the range of work done by nurses and something other trusts could replicate through working with their local media.
“It is a really nice way to promote nursing and also showcase all the different roles nurses do, because people have very narrow views about what nursing involves,” she said.
Nominations for this year’s awards have now closed. Shortlists are due to be published in coming weeks ahead of an awards ceremony in May, which is sponsored by the newspaper and local tram company.