Internationally Recruited Nurses

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2003 Health Care Service Group Conference
1 December 2002

Overseas Nurses are being let down by poorly designed and ill administered adaptation courses, particularly so in the field of mental health. The lack of national standards for adaptation programmes has resulted in many agencies offering so called adaptation programmes, which do not equip the nurse with the knowledge or skills to practice at a competent level within the British health system. While all these practitioners hold relevant qualifications in their own right gained in their own Countries, they have little if any knowledge of the British system and the laws and regulations we work within.

Branches have emerging evidence to suggest that students of Mental Health adaptation programmes are being placed on general medical/surgical wards to gain their supervised practice. When these candidates come forward for interview they have no knowledge of the relevant mental health issues or in fact the mental health act. This leads to them not being appointed. This highlights the shameful practice some employers adopt when offering adaptation programmes.

The Nursing Sector welcomes the NMC’s proposal to introduce national standards for adaptation programmes.

We must,

1)Ensure UNISON maintains a high profile during the development and actively seeks to influence the standards being developed;

2)Works with both the Government and the NMC to ensure the standards are achieved and not allowed to slip beyond the Nov 03 deadline;

3)The standards are focused and specific to the sphere of nursing, for which registration is being sought.


We must remain the first choice for overseas nurses.