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Employers urged to cater for increasingly diverse nurse workforce

Employers of nurses are encouraged to provide tailored support to the growing number of international professionals on the nursing register.

Analysis of the Nursing & Midwifery Council reveals that almost half of the joiners in the past six months are internationally educated – most in India, the Philippines and Nigeria.

In total, 11,496 internationally educated professionals joined the register in the six months to September, compared to 12,102 UK trained joiners. The number of non UK educated joiners during the six months to September 22 was nearly four times more than in the six months to September 2018.

The overall proportion of registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds is now 26 percent – that’s 1.3 percent higher than in April this year, and 7 percent higher than in 2018.

The NMC research programme Ambitious for Change found that nursing and midwifery professionals have different experiences of the regulator’s processes depending on their protected characteristics. Most of the professionals the NMC spoke to for its research said they felt one or more of their diversity characteristics played a part in their referral from their employer. They also said an ‘insider/outsider’ culture left them feeling unsupported.

In total, the nursing register now stands at 771,445 registrants. The number of UK educated joiners represents only a 9 percent increase compared to the six months to September 2018. Of these UK joiners, 23.6 percent are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to 18.9 percent in the six months to September 2018.    

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief executive and registrar, said: “It’s vital for the increasingly diverse professionals joining the nursing and midwifery workforce to be welcomed into an inclusive culture.”

Employers are reminded of the Department of Health and Social Care’s code of practice on ethical recruitment, which prohibits recruitment from ‘red list’ countries,  

Read the full UK report and four country specific reports 

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