Hit for Six

The nurses we recruit tend to enter the system as Band 5 nurses but let’s not forget that once they’re here, further progress can be made up the scale meaning that employers end up with better qualified, more experienced staff that they started with. In those cases, everyone wins.

One of our candidates who landed here in the early part of 2019 was recently promoted from a band 5 to a band 6 and we couldn’t be happier for her. We thought we’d have a chat with her to understand what has made the difference since she arrived.

Interview with Irysh Gerbolingo, University Hospital Southampton (4th from left in picture).

What is your current position?

I’ve recently been promoted from a Band 5 role to a Band 6 post in Acute Medical Unit.

How did that promotion feel?

I’m truly happy that I am given this opportunity for growth, and I feel proud because I have a sense of accomplishment right now. Currently, I’m excited about this new role because I know it will bump up my career trend and open more doors for personal and professional development. At the same time, I’m a little nervous about the responsibilities that come with it. I know I will be faced with more challenges once I start this role.

Who was the first person you told about your promotion?

My dearest friend, whom I consider as “my person” here in the UK, Christine. We arrived here in UK at the same time and we started from the same cohort group in our Trust. Christine and I were in the middle of our catch up conversation when I received the phone call from UHS saying that I got the role.

How long had you been working in the UK for at the point you were promoted?

After qualifying here in the UK, I worked as a Band 5 nurse for 8 months in Acute Medical Unit.

Why do you think you received this promotion?

Primarily because they can see how motivated I was to have it. Also, they can see how passionate I am about my work and the effort I put in it. Making the decision to apply for this role meant that I need to be focused on enhancing my skills and knowledge so I can live up to its description, and that was what I did in preparation.

What tips would you give to other international nurses who are hoping to progress in their careers?

Never give up! Whatever you dreamed, wished and hoped to be, you will always get it as long as you put your heart in it and give 200% (or even more) effort. I will be honest, there are days when I felt like giving up, down hearted and frustrated, but I always remind myself that these emotions are just temporary, that the wheels will definitely turn and I just have to be resilient making sure to give my best every single day at work. 🙂

What are your professional ambitions for the future?

I always wanted to become a doctor, but I guess with the career path I’m on now, the closest to that would be a nurse practitioner. Or even a matron (lol) but I know that’s still years ahead.

Over what period of time do you hope to fulfil those ambitions?

I just want to do well with the position that I’ve been given. I want to be more skilled and really good at it before thinking of doing anything to progress. I am taking things at a pace that is not too rushed and not to slow. Just the pace that determines how satisfied and ready I am to plan my next move again. Hopefully, I will be able to fulfil those goals within the next 5-8 years.

What advice would you give to UK healthcare employers who are keen to support the progression of their international nurses?

UK healthcare employers have been open for growth and development. I appreciate their willingness to support international nurses in becoming top skilled workers. I would be happy to see our UK healthcare employers continue bringing in opportunities for international nurses to freely train themselves to become better professionals.