More than 400 nurses to join NHS Wales as part of international recruitment programme

The new programme hopes to attract more people into the profession. Credit: Welsh Government

More than 400 nurses across the world are expected to join NHS Wales as part of an international recruitment programme.

Following the launch of the Here for Life campaign, the programme demonstrates the skills and knowledge of nurses and midwives, as well as working to attract more people into the profession.

NHS Wales and the Welsh Government acknowledged the "vital" role international nurses have played in the health service since it began in 1948.

Welcoming the new workers on International Nurses Day (May 12), Chief Nursing Officer, Sue Tranka, said: "Retention, attraction, recruitment, development and training are key to ensuring we have the nursing workforce we need.

"As well as recruiting through our Train, Work, Live campaign, we have increased training places for nurses in Wales by 69% over the last six years.

"International Nurses Day is an opportunity to highlight the great work nurses do every day all over Wales and what a rewarding profession it can be", Sue added.

The Chief Nursing Officer met five internationally-trained nurses who have recently joined the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

After Sue joined the NHS through a similar programme in 1999, she highlighted: "I know they will be full of excitement about their new opportunities, and I wish them well in their new career and life in Wales.

"I know first-hand that NHS Wales will very much welcome them with open arms - just as I’ve had a really wonderful welcome since joining as CNO last year."

The Welsh Government is working with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and NHS Wales to deliver the international recruitment programme.

Nurses have been on the frontline during the Covid pandemic. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Sue added: "Nurses and midwives have played a pivotal role during the pandemic and vaccine rollout.

"It truly is a privilege to be the chief nursing officer for Wales, working with nurses and midwives daily and seeing first-hand the amazing care and support given to the people of Wales."

How many more nurses are needed in Wales?

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) claim that nursing staff in Wales are short of 1,719 team members, up from 1,612 in 2020. A report from the organisation states that low nurse staffing levels can increase mortality by 26% and led to adverse patient experiences.

Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan added: "More than 400 international nurses will join us this year and will play a key role in the NHS as we look to the future.

"Overseas recruitment is one of a range of actions we are taking to support the health and care workforce across Wales as we deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

"We have recently announced the extension of the NHS bursary and the Chief Nursing Officer has announced her priorities and collective vision for the professions which include supporting and retaining our workforce as well as attracting people through the range of flexible routes into the professions."