Statement on ethical overseas recruitment practices

We are aware of an email circulating, in which a GP practice nurse involved in the recruitment process of another GP practice nurse, appeared to respond to an application from a Nigerian nurse using the words “another one but again Nigerian x”.

Whilst we welcome the decision from both the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the relevant CCG to investigate the matter, we wish to take this opportunity to highlight the situation many Nigerian and other internationally recruited nurses are facing.

Despite the UK government aligning with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advice on ethical international recruitment, many nurses are still arriving from overseas and struggling to gain employment.

The transition period for newly recruited international nurses can be a difficult one, with many arriving in the UK having never left their home countries or even their hometowns before. It is vital that support is available to ensure these nurses feel welcome, included and safe in a new country and healthcare system.

As the UK continues to expand its international recruitment effort for overseas nurses, it is vital that all healthcare trusts, boards and CCGs are equipped to fully support new arrivals to gain employment, integrate and develop their careers with the same opportunities as their peers.

It should not be possible to categorise nurses based on any protected characteristic during the recruitment process or at any other time and we are particularly concerned about the implications of this for new arrivals who are here to support the UK COVID19 effort, which we know poses a greater risk to Global Ethnic Majority nurses.

We therefore call upon UK Government and NHS leaders to urgently address the situation facing international nurses and deliver on the advice of the WHO.

RCN Feminist Network

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