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Overseas Student Nurses

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will review the recruitment and training of overseas student nurses and give an assurance that a standard code of practice will be followed in their recruitment and training to ensure that they have necessary English language ability before recruitment and that the course of studies which they follow will be sufficient for them to reach the required standards of examination.

A publication "Nurses in Training from Overseas—Guidance Leaflets", compiled by the United Kingdom Council for Overseas Students Affairs and the Royal College of Nursing in conjunction with my Department, was issued to all health authorities and directors of nurse education in 1976. It stresses the need for a good command of English before learners come into contact with patients and includes guidance to schools of nursing on testing ability and giving instruction in the English language. I understand that the General Nursing Council for England and Wales are currently evaluating an experimental English language test for overseas learners and nurses.