Registered Nurse Rebecca Moak poses for a photo in trauma center of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013. Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

Patients are less happy when they are treated by foreign-trained nurses, according to a new study published in BMJ Open on Dec 2. UK patients claim that foreign nurses do not treat them as well as UK-trained nurses.

The researchers surveyed 12,506 patients, aged 16 years and older with at least one overnight stay, 2,962 bedside care nurses and 31 NHS trusts, workers who perform specialised functions such as ambulance service. The study found that there was a 12 per cent decrease in patient satisfaction for every 10 per cent increase in non-UK educated nurses. Thirteen per cent of patients claimed that they do not trust foreign nurses.

"Language differences, cultural expectations, and professional norms of different countries may all contribute to patients' perceptions and create challenges for rapid and effective decision-making for acutely ill hospitalised patients,” said Anne Marie Rafferty, one of the study’s authors, the Daily Telegraph reports. Currently, about 98,000 foreign-educated nurses work in the UK. Around 7,500 nurses from India, the Philippines, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Italy and others registered to work in the UK in 2014.

“Use of non-UK educated nurses in English NHS hospitals is associated with lower patient satisfaction,” the researchers concluded. “Importing nurses from abroad to substitute for domestically educated nurses may negatively impact [the] quality of care.”

Shari Sandifer, CEO and founder of Avant Healthcare Professionals, says that foreign nurses are just as trained, educated and experienced. Countries across the globe offer outstanding schools and training programmes. Many foreign-trained nurses eventually feel homesick for not only their country, family and friends but for their old ways of life as well. That is why institutions must be compassionate and patient.

Contact the writer at or tell us what you think below.