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International nurses pass exams to start on King's Lynn wards

More than 20 international nurses are now caring for West Norfolk patients after intensive training enabled them to pass their UK registration exams with flying colours.

Twenty-six men and women have left their families and homes in India to make a new life in Lynn and join the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

All nurses trained outside of the European Union must complete the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in order to become a Registered Nurse in the UK.

This programme can take up to 12-weeks to complete alongside clinical duties but in January the QEH introduced a four-week intensive training course to give candidates time and dedicated support to achieve their OSCE qualification.

Acting Chief Nurse Val Newton said: “We are delighted to welcome the 26 nurses to the close-knit community at the QEH.

“The introduction of the four-week intensive course has proved to be a great success in allowing our new nurses the time to bond with each other but to also acclimatize to the processes and requirements of UK hospitals.

The new overseas nurses with (from left) Clinical Educator Marentia De Villiers, leads for the OSCE programme Ragna Page and Nikki Plaatjies and administrator Amanda Goldsmith
The new overseas nurses with (from left) Clinical Educator Marentia De Villiers, leads for the OSCE programme Ragna Page and Nikki Plaatjies and administrator Amanda Goldsmith

“We are incredibly proud of our new nurses, and the clinical educators who have helped them. This is another example of how we are better together, by working as one team to improve care, outcomes and lives.”

Within the examination, candidates must demonstrate their clinical skills along with their knowledge of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care.

Nikki Plaatjies, practice development Sister and lead for the International Nurses OSCE Programme with Ragna Page, has been delighted with the international nurses’ success.

She said: “We are immensely proud of them. Their success is down to the huge amount of hard work they have put into this programme. It is a challenge being away from home and their families, but they have excelled.”

Among the new international nurses is Edwina Daniel. Coming from a medical family, Mrs Daniel was inspired to become a nurse five-years-ago and has not looked back.

She said: “Talking to people and helping them to become fit and healthy are some of the reasons why I enjoy being a nurse.

“I like the lifestyle and weather in this country, it is too hot in India. Coming to the QEH has given me my first experience of a dementia friendly ward which has been really interesting.”

The QEH will also be welcoming 81 nurses from the Philippines later in the year following a successful recruitment campaign in March.


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