University offers nurses trained overseas the chance to join NMC register

Middlesex University helps healthcare assistants to transition to nursing.

A university is offering NHS trusts across London the opportunity to ‘tap into the unrecognised talent’ of nurses trained overseas by running a course designed to help them work as nurses in the UK.

New nurse graduate Rose Ann Kiss. Picture: Rich Ward

Middlesex University has developed and piloted an 18-month accreditation of prior learning (APL) transition route for nurses who trained overseas and are working as healthcare assistants (HCAs) in the UK.

The pilot programme was launched in March 2015 and the first cohort of 20 nurses from the Philippines, China and Africa graduated last week.

A further 29 people are due to graduate in September, and another cohort will begin the course in March next year.

Transition route

The course was set up after the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust approached the university to see if a route could be offered for staff who were working as HCAs but had qualified as nurses overseas.

The first nurse graduates have all been offered jobs as staff nurses at the trust, and were paid for their work as HCAs during the course.

Large interest

Kay Caldwell, head of the university’s innovation hub for workforce transformation, said that 17 London trusts had signed up to benefit from the programme, including Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Caldwell said: ‘There are hundreds, possibly thousands of these talented nurses working as HCAs across London, and with nursing shortages it is time to tap into that talent.’

'Missing piece of the puzzle'

Rose Ann Kiss graduated with the first cohort and has started work in the Royal Free’s intensive care unit. ‘It was the missing piece of the puzzle for nurses like me from overseas who are already here in the UK, working as HCAs,’ she said.

‘I would describe the process of registering to become a nurse in the UK as trying to pass through the eye of a needle.

‘I was two steps away from my registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council when this programme was offered to HCAs at the Royal Free.

‘I chose to take the opportunity to go back to university and enter the programme. Through this course, I have acquired up-to-date evidence-based nursing information that directly benefits current nursing practice in the UK.’

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