NMC launches forum to support international nursing and midwifery workforce

Published on 03 April 2024

To strengthen our understanding of the experiences of internationally educated and diaspora professionals, we’ve set up a new engagement forum for international nursing and midwifery associations (INMAs). INMAs are organisations who provide wellbeing and career support for internationally educated and diaspora professionals working in the UK.

Our registration data shows that the growth of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce has become more reliant than ever on internationally educated and diaspora professionals joining our register. As highlighted in our Spotlight on Nursing and Midwifery report, we know some of these professionals face racist and derogatory language, and they don’t always feel respected or treated the same as colleagues. This impacts them, and consequently, the safe delivery of people’s care. 

The INMA Forum will be a strategic engagement group bringing INMAs together with the NMC to: 

  • Ensure that expertise, evidence, experience and knowledge from internationally educated and diaspora professionals inform and challenge all that the NMC does as we regulate, support and influence. 
  • Actively involve internationally educated and diaspora professionals in co-producing the NMC’s strategic work as it considers the future of nursing and midwifery regulation in the UK. 
  • Enable the NMC to work together with internationally educated and diaspora professionals to develop strategic policy and operational decisions, helping us support safe, effective and kind care for the public. 

The INMA Forum will not be part of our formal governance and decision-making structure, but instead a small number of strategic engagement groups, that influence and inform our work.  

The forum will be held at least twice per year, with the first meeting taking place today (3 April). It will have the support of an advisory group – also made up of INMAs - chaired by the NMC’s Sam Foster. The advisory group will recommend the direction of the forum and change every two years to ensure different INMAs can work in co-production with us.  

Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice, said: 

“I’m delighted to be leading this new initiative, which aims to amplify the voices of  international and diaspora professionals working in the UK and help ensure that they receive the right support to deliver high-quality care for people.   

“These brilliant professionals all make a vital and welcome contribution to the public’s health and wellbeing. Some have told us, however, that racism, discrimination, and inequality in the workplace are having a damaging impact on them and their ability to provide safe, effective and kind care. 

“With health and care services increasingly dependent on internationally educated and diaspora professionals, it’s paramount they can practice in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment, which enables them to thrive for the benefit of the public.”  

Ofrah Muflahi, Founder and Director of the British Arab Nursing and Midwifery Association and INMA Forum advisory group member, said: 

“As the founder of the British Arab Nursing and Midwifery Association (BANMA), I really value the NMC for creating a space where internationally educated and diaspora professionals can influence their work.  

“It's important that the lived experiences of internationally educated and diaspora professionals are heard and understood so that we can all work towards solutions that support them to thrive in their role and provide the best care possible.”    

Notes: 

  • Internationally educated professionals are nurses, midwives and nursing associates on the NMC register who have received their professional education outside the UK.  
  • Diaspora professionals are nurses, midwives and nursing associates on the NMC register who have cultural ties to countries outside the UK – they may be internationally or domestically educated. 

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