A group of Greek nurses has been recruited by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in an attempt to boost staffing levels.
A successful international recruitment campaign in Greece and Cyprus has led to 26 qualified nurses accepting jobs, the trust said this week.
Last week it announced it would invest more than £750,000 to recruit a further 34 nurses.
A team from the trust travelled to Cyprus and Greece in September to interview a pool of qualified nurse candidates.
“We are also looking at the possibility of travelling to Croatia to recruit registered theatre nurses”
The campaign aimed to find 40 high-quality nurses and from 29 offers, 26 nurses have now formally accepted jobs and will start work later this year.
Joann Morse, deputy chief nurse at the trust, said: “It is vitally important that we get our staffing levels right so we will be continuing to proactively recruit more nurses, both locally and internationally.
“We continue to advertise for qualified nurses locally and hold recruitment days at our hospitals, and are also looking at the possibility of travelling to Croatia to recruit registered theatre nurses,” she added.
The new recruits are in the process of having employment checks carried out and it is hoped they will start before Christmas 2014, the trust said.
They will be required to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and also go through the preceptorship training that is usually undertaken by newly-qualified staff.
In addition, the trust board last week agreed to release more than £750,000 for nurses to work across medical and surgical wards in the first phase of a £3m investment plan.
Executive chief nurse Sue Smith said: “Our current staffing levels allow us to deliver safe care but we are committed to enhancing patient care across all our wards and the additional funding will help us to do this.”
As well as nurse recruitment events at Furness General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary next month, she said the trust was interested to hear from recently retired nurses who might want to come back to work over the busy winter period.