Twenty-nine nurses from Greece and Cyprus have been given jobs by the health trust in charge of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
A three-strong panel from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has just returned from a week of interviews in the two Mediterranean countries.
Forty-one candidates were interviewed overall as the trust aims to meet a staffing shortfall by recruiting overseas.
This followed the awarding of 22 jobs to Italian and Spanish nurses last year.
“We can and do recruit locally and nationally but there is a shortage of nurses so we need to remain proactive in our approach,” said Joann Morse, deputy chief nurse at the RLI.
“We have also had a recommendation from another Trust that has recently recruited some 15 nurses of a very high professional standard in Cyprus.
“All successful candidates have a high standard of English.
“Forty five per cent of trusts nationally recruit internationally. The forecasts for how many nurses we require over the next few years has fallen short and the number of people coming out of nurse training isn’t meeting our demand.
“Some will say this is a stop-gap but we did an international recruitment 10 years ago. Some of those nurses are still here.
“We are hoping the new nurses will be here before the end of the year although at this stage we don’t know how many will come to Lancaster.”
The interview panel was made up of Gillian Day, employment services team leader, and matrons Hayley Reading and Gill Bentley.
Roberta Marcoccio, 24, from Italy, has been working in surgery at the RLI after joining the trust in May 2014.
“The clinical skills are very similar to those we need in Italy, but the language, the accent and the medical abbreviations used in England took some getting used to –but everyone has been very kind.
“I love living here – it’s a great city.”
Monica Alo, 24, is from northern Italy, near Venice, and also started at the RLI this year.
“I work with a great team and it’s a great environment.
“There are not a lot of differences between nursing skills here and in Italy – we didn’t need any conversion
courses. I always wanted to be a nurse and find that England is giving me the chance to do more with my career.
“I have a friend who was working in England and she said to come over if I had the chance. I love living here and am really enjoying it. I now want to go out and visit the Lake District.”