“We can only try and imagine how it feels to arrive in a completely different country, leaving family and friends behind, to start working for a completely different organisation.”
Members of Walsall Healthcare’s BAME Shared Decision-Making Council are looking at a host of ways they can support more than 260 nurses who are taking up roles at Walsall Manor Hospital by the end of this year.
A nursing workforce plan has been developed to address Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s current and future staffing challenges. Its aim is to increase student nurse numbers, attract and retain experienced registered nurses, recruit international nurses and develop a strong base of Clinical Support Workers.
One of the key elements of this drive has been the introduction of the Clinical Nursing Fellowship (CNF) programme which aims to recruit nurses both from the UK and internationally. Since establishing the programme in May, the Trust has welcomed an additional 67 international registered nurses, with a further 200 due to arrive from overseas before the end of the year.
BAME Council Chair Joan Dyer, Matron, said: “Our international nurses are a very welcome addition to our workforce and our patients and staff alike will benefit from their care and experience.
“We can only try and imagine how it feels to arrive in a completely different country, leaving family and friends behind, to start working for a completely different organisation and we want to ensure that our new colleagues feel supported. We are looking at various ways we can do this; potentially creating a buddying scheme involving colleagues from across the trust who can be that listening ear or someone to relax with.
“We will be working with our wards to ensure we engage with our new colleagues and show them a warm Walsall welcome.”
Vice Chair Angela Cope, Senior Sister, added: “We have various staff networks too and over the coming weeks and months we will be ensuring or international nurses know about the support available to them.
“The most important message we want to give them is that we feel privileged that they have chosen to come and join us here in Walsall and appreciate the sacrifice they have made, leaving their home country and families behind. We have been really impressed to hear that many have chosen to do so because they appreciate our organisation’s values of Respect, Compassion, Professionalism and Teamwork and we want to demonstrate our commitment to embedding these values.”