Foreign nurse recruitment a red herring.


November 01, 2004

The Royal College of Nurses claim today that there has been a big increase in the number of nurses leaving Britain for the United States.
A report by think-tank MigrationWatch (read report) puts these numbers
into perspective.

Admission to the UK Register of Nurses from overseas has roughly trebled from 5,000 in 1997/98 to 15,000 in 2003/4. Meanwhile, the outflow has doubled from about 4,000 a year in the mid 1990s to approximately 8,000 a year in recent years.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, chairman, MigrationWatch UK said, Nurses from overseas are a red herring. This report illustrates that domestic recruitment and retention are the only long-term answers to our shortage of nurses.

He continued, Furthermore, even at the present unprecedented rate of 15,000 a year, the number of overseas nurses is only 6% of net foreign immigration of 245,000 (in 2002) and cannot, in itself, justify large-scale immigration.

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