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UHNM welcome international neonatal nurses for the first time

Four international nurses have been recruited to provide specialist neonatal care at University Hospitals of North Midlands for the first time.

UHNM’s international nurse recruitment programme was launched in 2021 and has successfully recruited more than 200 nurses from across the world. Nurses have been employed at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital.

Anju Philip, Soumya Joseph and Manju Soman, from India and Ghada Shams, from Lebanon passed their OSCE examinations and became qualified NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) recognised nurses, joining the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Royal Stoke University Hospital in May 2022.

Manju Soman, NICU staff nurse, said: “I was working in Kuwait for 12 years and wanted to progress within my profession and improve my skill which is why I came to the UK. I have received a lot of support and care from the whole team and my mentors. Royal Stoke is a really nice place to work, I enjoy it here. My NICU team is my family, it’s home away from home.”  

Pastoral support is offered by the corporate nursing team who ensure advice and guidance is available to every candidate in all aspects of their recruitment journey, including accommodation recommendations, OSCE exam support, training and development and a support network of staff that have arrived overseas themselves.

Ghada Shams, NICU Staff Nurse said: “I have worked in Lebanon for 20 years as neonatal nurse and was afraid about starting a new journey. However, since day one I have been supported by NICU matron, treated as a member of the team and recognised as an experienced person who they wanted to benefit from given my past experience. I have been supported so much by everyone from the Trust even before I came to the UK, with weekly meetings about the process and what is expected.”

Katy Edwards, Matron NICU, said: “We started this journey in May 2022. It’s the a very long time since the neonatal unit have taken part in this process. We have been amazed by the nurses that have joined us. There are four nurses with many years of neonatal skill and experience, and as a team we were  extremely happy to support them clinically, and throughout their OSCE training. We have welcomed them into UHNM family and to a new life in Stoke-on-Trent. It has been a great experience to meet Ghada, Anju, Manju and Soumya,  and we are now ready for the next part of our next adventure together.”

To recognise overseas workers there will be a national Overseas NHS Workers Day Friday 3 March which celebrates the contributions overseas workers have made to the NHS. Fulfilling multiple roles across the Trust, it is hoped to recruit even more clinicians at UHNM over the next twelve months.  

Stella Underwood, International Nurse Lead, said: “Our four international nurses on NICU have settled into their unit really well and are a great example of how well our international recruitment programme can work. They have brought many years of experience and are a real asset to UHNM. They have been supported incredibly well by Lyn Cronin the clinical educator on NICU and by Katy Edwards the matron and we are looking forward to seeing how their careers develop.”