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Working in the NHS as an immigrant nurse: a personal experience

08 April 2021
5 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 7

Since the inception of the NHS, nurses, midwives and health visitors have been a critical part of the workforce. Today, the NHS could be described as ‘one NHS with many nationalities’ (Baker, 2020).

As of June 2020, 169 000 NHS staff in England reported that they were non-British, representing around 200 different nationalities, amounting to 13.8* of all staff (Baker, 2020). Among nursing, 8.7* (27 943) are from an Asian background. Of these, almost 94* are either Indian or Filipino. Some 6* (19 325) of nurses are from countries in the European Union (EU) (of these, 52* are either Irish, Spanish or Portuguese); 2.5* (7938) nurses are from an African country and 559 are from Jamaica (Baker, 2020).

These statistics give a clear picture of the importance of immigrant nurses to the NHS workforce. However, the most important issues worldwide faced by internationally educated nurses when migrating to a new country are discrimination and unequal treatment, especially in countries such as the UK, Canada and the USA (Walani, 2015).

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