Posted on: 1 March 2024

Our overseas colleagues play an important role in providing services, working across the entire organisation in numerous areas.

To mark this year’s Overseas NHS Workers Day on Friday 1 March, the Trust is recognising the diversity of its overseas workers and celebrating their achievements.

Since being part of a scheme led by NHS England to attract nursing talent from overseas the Trust has recruited 214 international nurses from various countries among these are India, Philippines, Guyana, USA, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe.

Since 2021:

  • 26 nurses have been promoted to band 6 senior positions across our mental health, community and adult nursing sectors
  • Two nurses promoted to band 7 positions, including Pastoral Lead for International Recruitment and an Acting Ward Manager
  • Retained close to 97% of international nurses

Kim Cox, Divisional Director of Nursing said:

"The recruitment of international nurses within CNWL has been one of the instrumental actions we have taken to reduce our vacancy rates – the feedback from staff already in post is that the nurses are of a good standard, really willing to learn and extremely hardworking – we are delighted they have joined us in CNWL and welcome them into the workforce.”

Nathaniel de Villiers, International Recruitment Project manager, said:

“We couldn’t do what we do without them. They bring a huge amount of professionalism, determination and enthusiasm and arrive with good knowledge and experience particularly in physical health nursing in busy departments. We’ve increased our staffing levels significantly thanks to them.

Christy Iruthayaraj was CNWL’s first internationally recruited nurse, and is now our Trust’s Pastoral Lead for international nurses. Her role has largely contributed to the achievement of the programme supporting nurses to successfully register with UK NMC and receive their pin numbers.

Christy said: “I have come across people with different cultural diversitieschristy_Iru_crop.jpg and I’ve put myself in their shoes, and I too have experienced the unavoidable situations they had to face in terms of communication and soft skill development, so to be able to help them in that key area means a lot to me.”

Watch this short video of Christy outlining what it was like working as an Internationally Recruited Mental Health Nurse.Dalia.png

Dalia, Acting Senior Nurse at SPRU began her career in 2009, working in different nursing roles in India and Kuwait, which is also where she gained her professional training and teaching.

“I’m always striving to sharpen my skills. What has helped is my attitude, eagerness to learn, empathy, belief in myself and quick decision making.”

Elma, a district nurse at Hunter Street Clinic in Camden talks about the importance of being supported well.Elma_crop.jpg

“From documents and requirements, to visa application up until the day I arrived here in the UK – I never felt doing this alone, I feel so supported and treated like a VIP.”

Last year, we are proud to have been awarded the NHS Pastoral Care Quality award for the Trust’s work to support nurses who joined from overseas.

Nathaniel continues:  “Recruiting internationally means our staffing levels have increased and we rely less on temporary and agency staff; that’s better for patients as they have continuity in care.”

The trust is committed to ethical recruitment as stated in the Department of Health guidelines.

Anyone from overseas interested in applying for a role with us, please get in touch with Nathaniel de Villiers for advice at