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Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: Supporting Our Internationally Educated Workforce

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: Supporting Our Internationally Educated Workforce

International Nurses Day recognises the incredible contributions of nurses and midwives around the world. In the UK, this year's celebration is significant as we highlight the vital role internationally educated nurses and midwives play in our National Health Service (NHS).




The Numbers Tell the Story


The NHS workforce is becoming increasingly international. According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), in 2022/23, a record almost 25,000 new nurses registered in the UK had been educated overseas – that's half of all new registrants! This statistic reflects the growing importance of internationally educated nurses in plugging staffing gaps within the NHS.


This blog explores how we can better support these dedicated professionals, fostering a truly inclusive environment:


1. Leading with Compassion: The Importance of Supportive Management

Internationally educated nurses and midwives often face unique challenges, such as adapting to new working practices,navigating unfamiliar healthcare systems, and potentially facing language barriers. Compassionate leadership that acknowledges these challenges and fosters a sense of belonging is crucial.


2. Building Cultural Competency: Understanding Diverse Practices

The UK's healthcare system benefits from the rich tapestry of experiences and knowledge brought by internationally educated nurses and midwives. For instance, a nurse from the Philippines might have extensive experience in community healthcare, while a nurse from India might bring expertise in tropical diseases.


The NHS offers a range of resources to promote cultural competency, including online modules and workshops that explore different cultural beliefs and practices related to health and illness. This ensures nurses can provide care that is respectful and appropriate for patients from diverse backgrounds.


3. Standing Together: Anti-Racism in the Workplace

Internationally educated nurses and midwives can sometimes face discrimination or bias based on their race, ethnicity, or nationality. This post tackles the issue of anti-racism in the workplace, providing resources and strategies for creating a zero-tolerance environment for prejudice.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has a dedicated equality and diversity team that provides support and guidance to nurses who have experienced racism. The RCN also offers training programmes to help all nurses understand and challenge racism in the workplace.


4. The Power of Allyship: Advocating for Your Colleagues

We can all play a part in creating a more inclusive healthcare system. This blog explores the concept of allyship, offering practical steps nurses and midwives can take to support their internationally educated colleagues.

Allyship can be as simple as speaking up if you witness someone making discriminatory remarks, or helping a colleague navigate unfamiliar NHS processes. By being an ally, you can create a more welcoming and supportive environment for everyone.


5. Celebrating Diversity: Sharing International Nurses' Stories

International Nurses Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the incredible contributions of internationally educated nurses and midwives.





Many NHS Trusts are now featuring the stories of their internationally educated nurses and midwives on their websites and social media channels. These stories not only celebrate the valuable contributions of these nurses but can also serve as inspiration for others considering a career in the NHS.


By focusing on compassionate leadership, cultural competency, anti-racism, and allyship, we can create a more welcoming and supportive environment for internationally educated nurses and midwives. This, in turn, strengthens the entire UK healthcare system and ensures all patients receive high-quality, culturally sensitive care.


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