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South East Independent Sector Newsletter - Get Connected

3 Oct 2016

Wendy Irwin, RCN Equalities Lead, gives her top tips on establishing networks for international nurses/HCAs.

Relationships are essential to our health and wellbeing. Our social networks outside of and within the workplace are also vital to thriving in a new country.

Social networks touch and connect every individual on the planet and some research has confirmed that the urban myth of six degrees of separation might not be fantastical after all.

Whether we connect and maintain relationships online, on paper, by phone or in person, ‘community ‘ in whatever form it takes has always represented the space where people congregate and the place where social ties are initially formed and maintained.

You can access the RCN International Nurses Network Facebook page to connect with other nurses and healthcare assistants from across the UK who have been trained and recruited from overseas, and the RCN South East (regional Facebook page) to connect with nurses and HCAs in your area.

We’re keen to encourage you to think about creating your own networks to help complement your existing support networks, and have compiled a list of suggested 'dos' and 'don’ts' that you may find helpful.


  • Connect with the RCN through the regional board about the issues that are important to your network
  • Be creative, focus on ways to engage people
  • Welcome as many people as possible (be broad and inclusive)
  • Think about ways in which you can share your knowledge with others – focus on collaboration
  • Create an atmosphere of trust within the network
  • Allow enough time (to meet and work through any issues)
  • Think about the sustainability of your network
  • Listen and learn from each other
  • Think about what you may need as a network to keep going


  • Under-estimate the challenges of keeping going – keep a long-term in mind
  • Don’t rush, building a supportive community takes time
  • Forget to draw in the skills and talents of other network members

Page last updated - 15/06/2018