Clinical Educator for internationally recruited nurses Audrey Tapang has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Workforce Awards – Overseas Nurse of the Year Award.
Audrey relocated from the Philippines to pursue a new start in life with the Newcastle Hospitals in 2015 and began her nursing career in cardiothoracic intensive care.
It became clear very quickly that Audrey was a highly skilled and motivated nurse, very much valued by her colleagues and had a desire to progress herself in the Trust.
In early 2021 Audrey took on the role of clinical educator to support fellow international nurses through the OSCE preparation process.
Whilst supporting the arrival and deployment of nearly 80 nurses she not only demonstrated tremendous empathy and support drawing upon her own experiences, but also excellent teaching and assessing skills, developing her own leadership journey along the way.
Associate Director for Nursing Anna Telfer explains: “In a very small space of time Audrey has continued to grow and develop and now leads the international recruitment team for the Newcastle Hospitals – one of the largest and most successful NHS Teaching Hospitals in England – as the senior nurse for all international nursing and midwifery recruitment.”
“We have watched her flourish in this role, constantly adapting and managing a diverse range of challenges including a comprehensive redesign of the OCSE teaching programme at pace, whilst overseeing the Trust’s ambitious deployment plans both in and out of a pandemic.
Anna continues “Audrey has always brought a high quality perspective to this hugely important role to ensure that this organisation can continue to provide excellence in our international recruitment offer.”
Such is Newcastle Hospital’s reputation that Audrey is often contacted by colleagues from neighbouring Trusts to advise on how to successfully conduct an IR recruitment and pastoral programme. Audrey has also played a large role in the Trust’s intention to apply for the NHS England’s pastoral care award.
“Stay and Thrive”
Of particular significance is her approach to NHS England’s “Stay and Thrive” campaign and how she has ensured that Newcastle’s international recruitment pastoral care offer is the best.
“Audrey doesn’t just welcome and provide educational support to our new recruits from abroad”, adds Anna.
“She works tirelessly with accommodation providers, banks, local arts programmes and transport providers to negotiate the best support for international recruits. She ensures that buddy systems, access to preceptorship and onboarding programmes – including Staff Networks and Freedom to Speak Up representation – are all available and fit for purpose.”
Audrey is keen to evaluate the efficacy of these programmes to enable the best support for international recruits and to act pro-actively to feedback from recruits. One example includes a situation where a cohort of nurses from India were finding it difficult to adjust to working on the wards.
Audrey arranged a session with a consultant working in the RVI’s Emergency Department who came from the same region of India. They were able to work with the nurses and their ward colleagues to increase understanding on behalf of everyone to support the nurses in clinical areas.
Another example is Audrey’s pro-active pursual of funding to provide a celebratory event of international nurses and career progression.
Perhaps the most striking reason to nominate Audrey is due to her progression and development as a fair and inspirational leader. She is keen to make the IR team the best that it can be and leads with clear articulation and vision.
Anna adds “It is my opinion that as a Trust, we would not be in the esteemed position that we are as an international recruiter without Audrey. Not only has Audrey proved to be a great role model and ambassador for international nurses but her motivation to support international colleagues to reach their potential demonstrates the sustainability of the IR programme across the organisation.
“Here in Newcastle we are extremely proud of our track record in international recruitment but more so of Audrey for her outstanding contribution. I am also proud to be able to work with her and to call her my friend.”
Nursing Times Workforce Summit and Awards 2022
The Nursing Times Workforce Summit and Awards aims to bring together peers to tackle current workforce challenges as well as recognising best practice from organisations that have made a positive impact to the profession.
The awards recognise the brightest talent in workforce planning and highlights those making a difference in recruitment, staff retention, wellbeing and inclusion.
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, taking place on Tuesday 22 November 2022 at the Hilton London Metropole.