[Edah Bellezar and Carla Cadano, the first and 300th international nurses to join the Trust]
The RUH is celebrating a milestone in healthcare diversity – having reached a total of 300 nurses relocating from overseas to work at the hospital as part of it’s recruitment strategy.
The RUH launched an international recruitment campaign in 2018 and has since welcomed nurses from countries all across the world including the Philippines, India and Tibet.
Mandy Rumble, Divisional Director of Nursing for the Medical Division, who led the launch of international recruitment at the Trust said: “Since the inception of the NHS, patients have benefited from the expertise, commitment and compassion of staff who have come to work in the NHS from around the world.
“Our international nurses make such a difference to both our staff and patients and we are so grateful for the enormous contribution they make to the RUH.”
Filling nursing vacancies is a challenge shared across the whole NHS, and international recruitment is just one important part of the RUH’s overall recruitment strategy. Other initiatives include apprenticeships, supported re-entry routes for qualified nurses and midwives who have left the profession but wish to return, and supervision and mentorship for students taking a traditional degree-led training pathway.
Although fully qualified in their home country, international nurses must pass further examinations to register in the UK. The RUH is one of the few trusts in the country to have a team dedicated to supporting international colleagues to gain these qualifications and settle into their new lives.
Mark Doblas, Lead Clinical Practice Facilitator, leads the team that supports international nurses at the RUH. Mark said: “When nurses come from overseas to work with us, we want to make sure they settle into their new country and job as easily as possible.
“As well as providing support to help them pass their exams, we also help our nurses with practical things like registering with a GP practice, setting up a bank account and finding accommodation. It can be really daunting coming to a foreign country so we do all we can to help people with the transition.
“Many of our international nurses come to Bath alone, without any family or friends, so another key focus for us is making sure we provide opportunities for people to meet other staff across the hospital and build support networks. We organise regular social events and activities to help facilitate this.”
The RUH celebrated welcoming the 300th international nurse with an event at Lansdown Cricket Club last month. It was attended by over 170 members of staff and their family members and included a performance from a band of international nurses called ‘Are you Okay’. Flowers were given to Edah Bellezar and Carla Cadano in recognition of their positions as the first and 300th international nurses to join the Trust.
Mandy said: “It was wonderful to be able to get together and celebrate this milestone. I am in awe of each and every one of our international nurses who have left their home countries, many for the first time, to support our patients, staff and community.”