As part of the Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign, the RCN is demanding that the government properly invests in nursing education, base workforce assessments on need and make them public, and put accountability in law for the provision of staffing for health and care services in England.
Internationally recruited nurses make a vital contribution to the workforce in the UK. The RCN is clear that any international recruitment must be ethical and not undermine health systems in other countries, and only take place when international recruitment is required to complement the domestic workforce. This should not be instead of appropriate investment in education and training of domestic staff.
Where appropriate international recruitment is required, it must adhere to UK and global Codes of Practice that guide effective and ethical recruitment. We want a fair, effective and inclusive UK immigration system with appropriate testing and registration process to ensure fair and clear routes for appropriately trained international nurses to join the UK nursing workforce.
There must also be government accountability for the provision of health and care staff written into law in England. This means that the Secretary of State must be accountable, through a legal duty, and that there must also be a legal duty to produce a demand-led workforce strategy based on population need, to ensure there are enough nursing staff now and in the future.