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Non-European nurses' perceived barriers to UK nurse registration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Publication details

JournalNursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Jul 2015
DatePublished (current) - 11 May 2016
Issue number37
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)45-51
Original languageEnglish


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.

    Research areas

  • English language testing, healthcare assistants, international nurses, language barriers, registration, research

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