Non-European nurses’ perceived barriers to UK nurse registration
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Non-European nurses’ perceived barriers to UK nurse registration

Helen Allan Professor of nursing, School of Health and Education, Middlesex University, London, England
Sue Westwood Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, England

Aim To conduct a scoping project to identify perceived barriers to UK nurse registration as experienced by internationally educated nurses working as healthcare assistants in the UK.

Method Eleven internationally educated nurses working as healthcare assistants in two London hospitals attended two facilitated focus groups. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Findings Study participants articulated frustration with UK English language testing requirements and a sense of injustice and unfairness relating to: double standards for nurses educated within and outside of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA); and what was perceived, by some, as arbitrary English language testing with unnecessarily high standards. Differences among study participants 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 kept changing.

Conclusion Language testing barriers are impeding UK nurse registration for some internationally educated nurses from outside the EU and EEA 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.

Nursing Standard. 30, 37,45-51. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.37.45.s41

Correspondence

h.allan@mdx.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 19 December 2014

Accepted: 15 July 2015