Compass Associates - International Nurses Day - Nurses and Doctors walking down hospital corridor

International Nurses Day: Nursing observations within the Healthcare Sector


On International Nurses Day, we would like to show our appreciation to nurses around the world for all the hard work that they do. Our consultants within our Healthcare division recently discussed the key observations they are currently seeing with nurses working in the healthcare industry.

What is International Nurses Day?

Organised annually by the International Council of Nurses, International Nurses Day celebrates nurses’ contribution to societies worldwide. It is always held annually on 12th May due to this date being one of the most famous nurses in history’s birthday Florence Nightingale.

This year’s theme Our Nurses. Our Future. is a global campaign that sets out what nurses want for nursing in the future to address the global health challenges and improve global health for all. Learning from the pandemic’s lessons and translating these into future actions is vital.

With this in mind, consultants Rachel Smith, Louise Holmes, Jasmine O’Sullivan and Jade Guest from our Healthcare division recently discussed key observations that they are seeing within the nursing sector, and any trends they are seeing within the future of nursing and challenges the profession faces.

What specialist nurse markets do you recruit for?

Our Healthcare division focuses on the recruitment of nurses within the following healthcare sectors.

  • Ophthalmology
  • Cosmetics
  • Surgical
  • Dental
  • Dialysis/Renal
  • Theatre
  • Occupational Health
  • Fertility
  • Veterinary
  • Pre-Assessment & Outpatients
  • Primary care

Career paths into Nursing

A career in nursing has a number of different pathways to achieve getting into this industry, this can be obtained by specialist training, apprenticeships and degree courses. Our consultants generally speak to nurses from the following backgrounds.

  • University (BSc) nursing related degree
  • Post-graduate position/Preceptorship
  • Specialist area/training
  • Either a clinical route (Clinical Nurse Specialist) or Management route (Senior Staff Nurse, Sister/Charge Nurse, Lead Nurse, Ward Manager, etc.)

Any key trends or observations within the market you’re seeing from a nursing or recruitment perspective

With the recent NHS pay rise approved at 5%, this has had an impact with healthcare workers transferring from the NHS into the private sector. We have noticed that in certain circumstances, recruitment has slowed down due to people waiting for their backdated payment or a pay review. However, some nurses are in a position that they feel ready to leave due to wanting a change of environment.

There has been an increase in counter offers becoming much more competitive as hospitals are wanting to retain staff due to staff shortages.

More people are taking career breaks due to the impact of working through Covid-19 and the toll it has had on the healthcare industry.

Any further thoughts on the future of nurses and challenges for the profession

There appears to be much more of a move to private hospitals for nurses. This could be due to a myriad of reasons such as the hardships currently happening within the NHS. Nurses understand their value to the sector and we believe it is important than employers offer a supportive environment with a manageable workload, if you don’t offer it a competitor will.

We are seeing an increase in benefits towards supporting health and wellbeing. This is not surprising due to the high pressures that nurses face and with the aftermath of the pandemic with many healthcare workers feeling major burnout.

From a recruitment perspective, we are seeing a much higher ratio of international nurses to British nurses. A recent Nuffield Health report reported that the UK healthcare markets are facing challenges across all sectors within it with recruiting due to the pandemic and Brexit. The recruitment of nurses has been no exception to this. In 2022, the UK Nursing Council reported almost 24,000 new international nurse registrants – a record high across the last 30 years. Annual analysis since 1990 shows that, on average, about one in four new nurses becoming eligible to practice in the UK every year has been trained in another country.

Find out more about the Healthcare division here.

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