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The international nurses swapping St Lucia and Australia for a new life in Swansea Bay

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Having recruited over 500 overseas nurses from 20 countries in the last four years, Swansea Bay prides itself on having a diverse and multi-cultural workforce.

The arrival of 505 international staff since January 2020 has helped fill the void of Band 5 nurses – an issue felt throughout the UK.

While the health board encourages healthcare support workers to up-skill and expand their roles, the recruitment of nurses from overseas has been a key part of recruitment and retention. The majority of the nurses have gone into acute care settings in Singleton, Morriston and Neath Port Talbot hospitals.

Image shows a map The overseas staff bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and culture and complement the staff we already have in place.

The list of countries nurses have been recruited from include: Jamaica; Zimbabwe; Saint Vincent; Barbados; Philippines; Kenya; Nigeria; India; Pakistan; Ghana; Trinidad & Tobago; Nepal; Cameroon; Dominica; Sri Lanka; Australia; Botswana; St Lucia; Lesotho, Eswatini and The Gambia.

PICTURED: A map showing the countries where Swansea Bay's overseas nurses have come from since January 2020.

More nurses are expected to arrive soon from Grenada, Bahamas, South Africa, Namibia and Malawi.

Daisy Nwosu is among the nurses to have swapped their homeland for Swansea Bay.

Daisy arrived from Nigeria in October 2023 and underwent training before sitting an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) exam in Oxford to become a registered nurse within the UK.

While her family are currently still in Nigeria, Daisy has settled seamlessly into her new home in Swansea and role within the Intensive Care Unit.

Daisy, 34, said: “I moved to Swansea Bay because I wanted an opportunity to work in a dynamic and supportive environment. I heard about the excellent reputation of the health board and was eager to contribute to its mission of delivering outstanding healthcare services.

“Adjusting to life in Swansea has been a rewarding experience for me. On a personal level, I have found the city to be welcoming and full of friendly faces. The natural beauty of the area, with its stunning coastline and scenic landscapes, has quickly become one of my favourite aspects of living in Swansea.

"Professionally, I feel fortunate to be part of a health board that values its staff and promotes a culture of inclusivity and support. They have really been supportive and encouraging, and gave us all the support we needed for the OSCE. We had excellent teachers who made sure that we all got to the top and did everything possible to give us the best support.

Image shows a woman “My colleagues have been incredibly welcoming, helping me settle into my new role and making me feel at home. I feel privileged to be part of such a dedicated team, and I'm excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Head of Nursing Education and Recruitment Lynne Jones has been pivotal in attracting overseas nurses to the health board.

PICTURED: Daisy Nwosu left Nigeria in October to live and work in Swansea Bay.

She has been a nurse for 40 years and spent the last 21 years in nurse education and recruitment roles. It is a commitment that has seen a dedicated Nurse Education Training Suite in the health board’s Baglan HQ named after her.

Lynne said: “The recruitment of our overseas nurses has been crucial in filling the band 5 role, which has been an issue throughout healthcare across the UK.

“We’ve had to be very proactive in filling these roles. We employed over 100 nurses during a first ever recruitment drive in India, while our team has done an excellent job in ensuring they arrive safely, pass the training required and settle into their new roles.

“It has really helped plug that gap in that area of expertise, and we take great pride in seeing the staff settle and class Swansea Bay as their home. Our international nurses are now a very valuable part of our nursing teams.”

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

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