Between September 2022 and January 2023, Mildmay recruited five nurses from abroad to join the Mildmay Nursing Team.
With the support of hospital management and the Nursing team of Mildmay Mission Hospital, these nurses, Afia, Dzeliwe, Martha, Mary and Meshonett went through a rigorous induction programme required by the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
All five ladies worked exceptionally hard to prepare for their OSCEs* (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), and all five successfully passed. The NMC has approved them for successfully satisfying all conditions of the programme and achieving 100%. They have been issued an NMC pin to practice in the UK as Registered Nurses.
I want to congratulate these five intelligent, hardworking and pleasant nurses and wish them an enjoyable working life at the Mildmay, where they are now part of a legacy of nursing that stretches back over 160 years!
Clinical Lead Nurse
Why does Mildmay need to recruit nurses from abroad?
Registered nurse vacancies account for over a third of all full-time equivalent NHS staff vacancies in England. Compared with many other OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the UK relies heavily on internationally recruited nurses to fill funded posts.
Recent NMC data underline this reliance on international nurses, showing that the annual number of new nurse registrants from outside the European Economic Area has increased significantly and in 2022/23 reached the highest level since records began in 1990/91.
In 2022/23, more than 40% of all new nurses registered with the NMC (domestic and international) came from low and lower-middle countries (using World Bank classification), up from 10% in 2018.
Last year, more than 6,000 new nurses registered in the UK came from so-called ‘red list’ countries – highlighted by the World Health Organization as being most at risk of not achieving universal health coverage because of health workforce shortfalls.
Migrant workers have long been an important part of the UK’s health and care workforce, and international recruitment is vital to addressing staffing shortages in UK healthcare. But recruitment must be ethical and sustainable, recognising global shortfalls in workers.
For longstanding shortages in the nursing workforce to be addressed effectively, it is vital for the government’s long-term NHS workforce plan to be comprehensive and fully funded. Alongside this, a long-term plan to reform pay, training and conditions in social care is long overdue.
Further Reading: how reliant is the NHS in England on international nurse recruitment?
*OSCE: A competency test that is part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s registration process for nurses and midwives trained outside the EU/EEA. Participants are required to act out scenarios that nurses and midwives are likely to experience when assessing, planning, delivering, and evaluating care in the UK. The exam is made up of six sections, using simulated patients in a clinical setting. Four of these are designed to test a person’s knowledge of assessment and evaluation of care, and the two remaining sections test clinical skills.