Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council, considers the issues faced by internationally recruited nurses and areas where retention strategies could be focused
Having recently joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in my new role, I am confident that all the discussions that are central to our professional agenda are happening at the Council table. The NMC is not responsible for recruitment of professionals to the register – the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has a code of practice for international recruitment to make sure employers recruit ethically. The NMC role is to make sure that people who meet the standards, and can join the register, do so quickly and safely. Although one of my development areas will be fully understanding the regulatory sector, to progress our professional agenda, I think that we have a Venn diagram with overlaps requiring joint working between the NMC, the DHSC, employers and the professionals on the register.
In 2022, the NMC highlighted a rise in the number of professionals joining the register for the first time, with almost half the nurses (23 444) having trained outside the UK. This equated to a 135% increase from the previous year's 9962 international joiners (NMC 2022a; 2022b).
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