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Project to support overseas nurses in Scotland is launched

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A project developed at Glasgow Caledonian University will form part of a nationwide programme to support the recruitment and retention of internationally trained nurses.

GOPiP – Glasgow Overseas Professionals into Practice – was set up in 2004 by a team led by Dr Ima Jackson of the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health.

Part of the project was a pilot programme which sought to identify the kind of infrastructure needed to help those educated overseas adapt to working within the Scottish NHS.

Now the GOPiP pilot is to form the basis for an adaptation programme to be used across Scotland. The programme will be a crucial part of the Scottish Executive’s drive to recruit and retain internationally trained nurses already living in the country into hard to fill posts.

Plans for the Executive’s recruitment drive were unveiled on 13 September by Health Minister Andy Kerr, backed by £1.25 million investment from the Executive over the next two years.

Building on earlier work supporting refugee nurses working within the Scottish NHS, the GOPiP team was well placed to undertake the development work needed to create a national programme.

'International nurses bring lots of skills into the NHS,' said Dr Jackson. 'However the task of adapting to nursing in Scotland is complex, both for the nurses supporting them in the workplace and for the international nurse undergoing adaptation.

'It is great for patients, relatives, existing staff who mentor international nurses, as well as the new nurses that the Executive is providing comprehensive academic and clinical support for their first months in acute sector nursing. This will ensure that standards are maintained and our patients receive competent care.'

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