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The Untapped Potential of Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) in PSW Duties

In the landscape of healthcare, the contributions of Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) often go unnoticed or underutilized. Despite possessing a wealth of skills and experience, many IENs find themselves marginalized, their potential restricted to roles that do not fully utilize their capabilities. One such example is the assignment of IENs to fulfill Personal Support Worker (PSW) duties, a practice that fails to recognize and harness their extensive skill set.


IENs undergo rigorous education and training in nursing, often accumulating years of experience in diverse healthcare settings before immigrating to new countries. Their expertise encompasses a wide range of clinical skills, including patient assessment, medication administration, wound care, and patient education. However, upon entering the workforce in their adopted countries, IENs frequently encounter barriers that prevent them from practicing to the full extent of their abilities.


One common phenomenon is the relegation of IENs to roles traditionally associated with PSWs, such as assisting with activities of daily living, providing basic personal care, and supporting patients' comfort and well-being. While these tasks are undoubtedly important, they represent only a fraction of the skills and knowledge that IENs possess.


By limiting IENs to PSW duties, healthcare organizations fail to capitalize on their potential to contribute significantly to patient care and outcomes. IENs have the capacity to take on more complex responsibilities, such as medication management, wound assessment and care, care planning, and coordination of interdisciplinary care teams. Leveraging their expertise in these areas can enhance the quality of care provided to patients and alleviate workload pressures on other healthcare professionals.


Moreover, the underutilization of IENs represents a missed opportunity for healthcare organizations to address staffing shortages and improve workforce diversity. By recognizing and valuing the unique skills and perspectives that IENs bring to the table, organizations can foster a more inclusive and equitable healthcare environment.


It is essential for healthcare leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to advocate for the full integration of IENs into the workforce and to create pathways for them to leverage their skills and qualifications effectively. This may involve providing additional training and support, addressing regulatory barriers, and promoting cultural competence within healthcare settings.


Let SCL Group staff your facility with IENs that possess a wealth of skills and experience.  We work with our clients to expand IENs beyond traditional PSW duties and recognizing their full potential.  Your healthcare organizations can enhance patient care, address workforce shortages, and promote diversity and inclusion within the healthcare workforce. It's time to unlock the untapped potential of Internationally Educated Nurses with SCL Group.

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