Spotlight on our support network for new international nurses


A team of 24 overseas nurses has recently come forward to form part of our Internationally Recruited Buddy Network.

This network aims to support new overseas nurses and provide a friendly welcome to our Trust.

The network also helps new staff preparing for their OSCE exam and it is getting ready to welcome 96 new nurses, coming from countries such as India, Ghana and Nigeria, in January.

Frimpomaa Akoto, Registered Nurse in Interventional Radiology, joined our hospital just over one year ago, having previously worked in Ghana.

“Coming to a new workplace is always challenging, but even more so if this is also in a different country,” said Frimpomaa who is one of the Internationally Recruited Buddy Network members.

“I remember when I arrived, the country was in lockdown and I had to self-isolate for two weeks. It also took me a while to adapt to the new system at the hospital and do all mandatory trainings.

“I remember preparation for the OSCE exam was intense but that was not the only challenge: I did not know anything about Norwich and having our colleagues from the Practice Development and Education (PD&E) team to ask the simplest questions, such as which areas of the city are nice to go for a walk, made a huge difference.

“But I believe for the new cohort of overseas nurses it would be even better, now that our buddy network is well established.”

The network will also provide help to colleagues once they’re sent to work in different wards.

Adeola Ogunyebi, Registered Nurse on Ingham ward and currently working on the Virtual Ward, believes this could be of great benefit for new staff, as well for our patients.

“I remember joining the ward was not easy straight away. I had spent the first weeks at the hospital with other international colleagues and, all of a sudden, I was in a workplace with no familiar faces,” she said.

“I was left to find my own feet, so I think when the new colleagues come in, I will go and see them on the wards to offer extra support, should they need it.

“Speaking to somebody who has gone through the same experience can be extremely reassuring.”

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