5 questions about funding for internationally qualified nurses

On 1 August 2022, the Government rolled out a suite of targeted measures to bring more doctors and nurses into the country and train more health workers domestically. Among many other positive initiatives, the government announced $10,000 in financial support for internationally qualified nurses (IQNs) to complete their training and registration assessments in New Zealand.

This announcement was welcomed by the aged-care sector as well as by our team at DeoCare.

Recruitment at DeoCare has always been a solutions-focused approach.

Having observed the struggles of many facilities to recruit and retain staff, earlier this year DeoCare championed for an employer sponsored approach to recruit IQNs.

As a part of this approach, we advocated that organisations help ease the financial burdern on overseas nurses by sponsoring their Competency Assessment Programmes (CAP), so that they can, in turn work as Level 4 Caregivers or Healthcare Assistants, gaining work experience while studying.

With the government now stepping in to fund their studies, it will get easier for facilities to recruit globally experienced overseas healthcare professionals.

In this blog, we explore the five most pressing questions you may have about this announcement and recruiting IQNs

Why should I care about the $10,000 financial support provided for IQNs to complete their CAP?

The CAP qualifications offered by institutes across New Zealand, can cost anywhere between $7000 to $10,000. This is a significant financial undertaking and can be a real barrier to overseas nurses who want to come to NZ to work.

Now that the financial burden has been eased, facilities will have access to a wider talent pool of nurses that can help elevate stress on the current workforce.

Consequently, by committing to investing in your staff’s future, pre-hire, the facility will remain in a good position to attract talented candidates.

What roles can an IQN perform at my facility while studying for their CAP?

Facilities can create a “Healthcare Assistant Pathway” for IQNs, wherein those nurses who have received government funding can work as healthcare assistants (HCA) while they work towards achieving their CAP qualifications.

This pathway will help them gain a hands-on experience while they study and provide the facilities with an extra resource to train.

This can also help facilities focus on upskilling their existing pool of HCAs.

By strongly encouraging the current staff to upskill to a level of experience of registered nurse (RN), it will help elevate the stress off the nurses who can then focus on other tasks.

Simply having more HCAs qualified to provide medication to residents, takes a huge burden off the RNs.

This will help aged-care facilities build a robust talent pipeline.

How will bringing IQNs on board help my facility?

Access to a globally experienced talent pool will give your facility a chance to find the right professional for a role. Being able to source from a larger, global pool will help you find talent that fits the job description.

It’s also important to remember that diverse and inclusive workplaces attract diverse talent. Recruiting internationally experienced healthcare professionals will benefit your organization, staff, patients and clients.

Is this pathway only for those facilities based in major cities?

No. In fact, it is especially important for facilities that are not based in one of the major cities to avail themselves to this funding as soon as possible.

This will ensure that they have first-access to a global talent pool that brings with it diversity of experience, thought and resource – helping them better serve their harder to reach communities and towns.

How can I find out if my facility is qualified?

Many facilities have already started working with specialised agencies like DeoCare to understand the healthcare recruitment process and verifications required to apply for this funding and bring on IQNs.

We work with trusted partners who provide correct, up-to-date information on immigration policies. We work with our clients to find practical and sustainable solutions to their recruitment needs.

Get in touch with us to find out if and how to be eligible for this funding and let us help you relieve some of the stress in finding you the right person.

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