Comment by Charlotte Bamrud
In the edition of the Norwegian newspaper VG that came out on April 26th, the review of how Norway handled the pandemic was published. Among the things that were highlighted in the review, was the severe lack of intensive care equipment and intensive care health workers. More specifically – the lack of intensive care nurses.
The covid-19 committee highlights that the lack of equipment and intensive care nurses, was quite severe when the pandemic had its breakthrough in Norway. In addition, they mention how the hospitals were highly dependent on foreign workers hired for a shorter amount of time. Time and time again, the hospitals and government tried to map out how big (or small) the intensive care capacity was. Every time with varying numbers of how many critically ill patients we could handle. For a lot of people, intensive care capacity is something that relates to how many beds and how much equipment a hospital has. However, the most important part of capacity is how many nurses with the right kind of education and knowledge there is to actually care for the patients.
In the review the committee also mentions the dependence of foreign workers. And in a pandemic, foreign workers are hard to come by for a shorter period of time. The solution to this problem, how we see it through our recruiting glasses, might be to recruit more nurses permanently to Norway. In other words; ask them to move to Norway. And helping them throughout the process with applications, authorizations, housing, kindergarten and all the other challenges one faces when moving to another country.
A few days after the beforementioned article, a new article was published in the same newspaper. In this article the main point was that there are almost twice as many applicants for nursing studies, as there were study places. This means that there are a lot of potential nurses out there. The question that remains is; how are the nurses going to stay in their line of work and prioritize specializing in intensive care? It is becoming quite clear that a lot of the nurses choose different careers because of the low wage level. Unfortunately, we do not have the answers to this crisis and how we can keep the intensive care nurses in the positions we need them the most. But we can contribute with better working conditions and higher salary for all the types of nurses that go through our hiring process.
Our main focus when recruiting new nurses and doctors is safety and that all the correct requirements are met. We always work to be able to deliver the highest quality of work, both for our candidates and our clients. For us, recruiting foreign nurses to Norway is an obvious solution to an increasing need, and something we are going to work a lot more in the time to come.