Non-European nurses’ perceived barriers to UK nurse registration

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Allan, Helen T. ; Westwood, Sue (2016)

Aim: To conduct a scoping project to identify perceived barriers to UK nurse registration as understood by internationally educated nurses working as Healthcare Assistants in the UK.\ud Method: Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Eleven internationally educated nurses working as healthcare assistants in two London hospitals attended two facilitated focus groups. Participants articulated frustration with UK English language testing requirements, and a sense of injustice and unfairness relating to: a) dual standards for nurses educated within and outside of the European Union and European Economic Area and b) what was perceived, by some, as arbitrary testing with unnecessarily high standards. Differences among focus group attendees related to issues of competency and accountability regarding English language skills and passing English language skills tests, with many feeling they were playing ‘a game’ where the rules keep changing.\ud Conclusion: Language testing barriers are impeding UK nurse registration for some internationally educated nurses from outside of the European Union and European Economic Area who, as a result, are working as Healthcare Assistants. The provision of English language training by employers would improve their prospects of achieving nurse registration in the UK.
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