Publicatie datum

Experiences of foreign European nurses in The Netherlands.

Veer, A. de, Ouden, D.J. den, Francke, A. Experiences of foreign European nurses in The Netherlands. Health Policy: 2004, 68(1), 55-61
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As a result of the shortage of nurses, Dutch health care organizations want to recruit nurses from outside Europe (e.g. Indonesia, South Africa). The Dutch government, however, is not encouraging this policy and prefers to recruit within the European Union. In order to better support such nurses, it is important to know the problems European nurses encounter in The Netherlands. This study is about the experience of nurses from other European countries in The Netherlands. This paper addresses itself to three principal questions. First, how many nurses qualified in other EU or EU candidate states are starting to work in The Netherlands. Second, why do they come to The Netherlands. And finally what problems do they encounter when working in The Netherlands. A questionnaire has been send to all registered nurses trained in another EU or EU candidate state. The response has been 987 or 67%. Thus, far approximately 1500 nurses from other EU/candidate states have come to The Netherlands. Personal reasons, including marriage, are the most important reasons for their coming here. Half of the nurses took one or more courses before starting work in nursing in The Netherlands. These were often Dutch language courses. The nurses had to make a number of adjustments. Major difficulties were unfamiliarity with Dutch laws and the fiscal and social security systems, recognition of their qualifications and application for permits. Some basic issues, such as how to write a letter of application, caused problems. The language and unfamiliarity with the Dutch health care system made it difficult to find a job. When they had gained employment in nursing these problems remained the most serious. The conclusion is that international employment mobility in nursing is rather low in the case of The Netherlands. If the Dutch government decides to encourage the employment of nurses from abroad, several measures can be taken to make working in The Netherlands more attractive. (aut.ref.)