Northern Ireland – part of the United Kingdom - is looking to recruit nurses from the Philippines by 2020 in the hopes of alleviating the nursing shortage in the region.
Shortage was attributed to two
factors: an ageing workforce and undergraduate recruitment unable to keep up
with the demand, according to Northern Ireland’s chief nursing officer
"The answer for us is to
grow our own workforce,” McArdle notes. “We can't be reliant on other places to
do that for us. The overseas programme is an interim step to help balance
things while we get to the other side.
"We have a history with the
Philippines, and to a lesser extent India, from the last shortage around
2000," said McArdle.
Currently, there are about 1,500
vacant nursing posts in Northern Ireland.
"This year is going to be
difficult in terms of nurse recruitment, but hopefully from then on we will
start to see light at the end of the tunnel," McArdle adds.
Aside from overseas recruitment,
Northern Ireland also introduced the ‘Return to Practice’ programme, which aims
to encourage out-of-practice nurses to return to their profession.
Northern Ireland adds up to the
long list of countries that have expressed their intent to hire nurses from the
Philippines. These countries include Japan,
as well as England-based
hospitals Yeovil District Hospital and the Royal Bolton Hospital. MIMS
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Northern Ireland to recruit 600 Filipino nurses
Jemar Nicdao, 18 Jan 2018