All the overseas nurses needed a settling-in time, whether they formally required an adaptation period or not. When nurses were recruited from Malaysia, Finland and South Africa they arrived as registered nurses within this country, but still needed support.
We provided this by adapting the programme to meet their identified needs, using the same principles in our approach. This protected both patients and practitioners, and is a recommendation we have since made to the UKCC in light of our experience.
A key success criterion was securing sufficient resources to provide a project manager and assessors who kept all the wheels in motion and gained support and commitment from all. The steering group was also vital in providing guidance and helping the project manager spot potential difficulties, devise solutions and be proactive.
Ensuring that the first cohort was especially well supported was very important - success breeds success. After the international nurses had settled in, ward managers were actively asking for them to fill their vacancies as their initial reluctance had been largely overcome.
This also meant that they were able to support their compatriots who subsequently arrived and relieved some of the pressure on the project manager/team.