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Aug 31, 2006
British Government; “We still have more nurses!”
- Maria Theresa S. Samante Email this article

This is probably what the British government wants to say after declaring new rules that will safeguard jobs for British nurses and removing nursing in the list of shortage jobs.  


Due to the implementation of localization program of the British government for British thousands of foreign nurses are expected to lose their jobs. These nurses will only be given a job only if no one from British or European candidates fit the job.


“We're very concerned about what’s going to happen to those nurses who are already working over here,” said a spokesman for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).


“They're really worried about how they're going to cope. A lot of them have brought their families over, and many of them have been working on the premise that their work permits are going to be renewed,” the spokesman added.


After their contracts, nurses’ old position will be re-advertised, the Department of Health said. If no British or European applicants suits the post overseas nurses can stay in their job.


Those nurses who failed to find new job and employer that will sponsor their work permit, they have no choice but to leave the country. However, those who have stayed in the country for five years can apply for settlement.


According to the RCN spokesman they are not only talking about newly qualified nurses but those who have an average work experience of 14 years and specialist skills, and its unrealistic to assume that newly qualified home-grown nurses will be able to fulfill those kinds of roles right at the beginning of their careers.


“Our big concern is that we're going to stop overseas nurses coming over, then not be able to fill the spaces that will exist after this deficits crisis is finished with home-grown nurses,” said the spokesman.


The RCN believes that the shortage would only be temporary. Foreign nurses have become the backbone of Britain’s health service. It would be impossible to replace 180,000 nurses who’ll retire over the next 10 years without the overseas nurses.

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