Responding to an announcement from the Home Office confirming an extension of the exemption of nurses from the £30,000 salary threshold for international nurses working in the UK on Tier 2 visas, RCN Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:
“On the same day we learn that the number of unfilled nurse jobs has risen year on year, the importance of this decision cannot be underestimated. For as long as the UK fails to train enough of our own nurses, it is vital we remain open and welcoming to our international colleagues.
"The Home Office have listened to our concerns and extended the minimum salary exemption for internationally recruited nurses until January 2021. Without this action, Ministers risked shutting the door on international nurses who are vital for keeping our health and care services running at a time when staffing shortages are already extensive.
“But with no clear indicators the workforce crisis is abating, and over 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England alone, the Government must now recognise the value of nurses and the care they give patients by developing a fully funded UK-wide workforce strategy, backed by legislation, to increase nursing numbers for safe and effective care.”Ends