NURSING: Train for the long term

Earlier this year, the Royal College of Nursing warned of a crisis looming in health services.

Nurses recruited from outside the European Economic Area since 2011 faced being removed from the country if they were not earning at least £35,000 after six years as part of changes to immigration laws. As well as wasting thousands in recruitment costs, the changes posed real challenges for many healthcare providers in the North East and Cumbria who are already struggling to fill vacancies.

Common sense has now prevailed. The Government has announced that nursing will be placed on the list of professions exempt from this rule.

The RCN wants this common sense approach extended to the training and retaining of more nurses in the longer term. The Government must increase student nurse training places so patients are no longer at the mercy of global workforce trends.

Sarah Dodsworth,

Regional Director, Royal

College of Nursing