News Centre


Celebrating our international nurses

Nurses who have joined the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) from overseas have been entertained at an event to show much they are valued.

The celebration at the West Suffolk Hospital marked the arrival of the 50th cohort of nurses trained overseas, who have joined the Trust to undertake the Objective Standard Clinical Examination (OSCE). Successfully completing OSCE is part of the registration process for nurses and midwives trained outside the UK or EU.

Executive chief nurse Sue Wilkinson joined other senior staff, members of the clinical education team, and colleagues who have joined the Trust from overseas in the past five years for a celebratory tea party.

Sue said: “On 28 June 2018, we welcomed cohort one of international nurses to the WSFT. This was following interviews in the Philippines, where members of the Trust talked about the organisation and why Suffolk was a great place to live and move forward with a career in nursing. Since that day we have welcomed 385 nurses from many corners of the world.

“The OSCE exam is not easy and requires hours of classroom study and personal revision, this demonstrates the commitment that our international nurses possess to work with us. Today our first attempt pass rate is 76%, which is one of the highest in the region, and we have an overall pass rate of 100%. This result, together with support provided, has resulted in the Trust being given the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award.

“The value and quality of care that these colleagues all bring to the Trust is immense and we are so fortunate that they have chosen WSFT to work in. This celebration is not only a recognition of reaching the 50th cohort marker, but also a ‘thank you’ to all of them for their hard work, dedication, and experience.”

The four nurses in the 50th cohort – Raquel, Harry, Raque and Leo – all come from the Philippines, and are a few weeks into their OSCE journey, set to take their examination on 1 December. They have ward placements lined up, two on the acute assessment unit, and two on ward G9.

Gill Cooksey, overseas OSCE facilitator at the Trust, works with clinical practice facilitator John Songkip to lead the OSCE programme. She said: “We do all we can to make our nurses welcome, with social events, as well as supporting their learning to succeed in the examination. Through OSCE, nurses have come to us from Botswana, India, Philippines, Nigeria, Gambia, Zambia, Lebanon, and also midwives from the Caribbean.

“Every group is so different, with so many stories to share, it enriches your life. We are one big family – they call me mum - and in a way I feel like I do have so many OSCE children. We appreciate the work they do for us and our patients.”

Raque said: “There is a Facebook page for Philippines UK nurses, and the West Suffolk had very good reviews, that’s what made me come here. I want to grow as a nurse and develop as a professional, and there is opportunity in this hospital.”

Back to Newsroom

International nurses and executive colleagues

International nurses and executive colleagues