Supporting International Nurses to Drive in England
Driving can be perceived as an obstacle to nurses new to the country, but there are various strategies to support them.
There is a range of key advice from central government about driving in the UK here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-uk-and-abroad. People can apply for a Provisional Driving Licence in the UK after they have been settled in the country for at least 185 days.
Some teams have started new Internationally Educated Nurses in settings where driving isn’t required, for example Community Rehabilitation Inpatient units, or undertaking Care Home visits for community nurses, where those homes can be reached by public transport.
Consider asking an experienced community nurse to share his or her knowledge of driving in your community. What are the things to avoid? For example, parking restrictions, low emissions zones, car crime risks, fuelling and maintenance options. There is likely to be a wealth of knowledge within community teams, and also useful contacts with reliable companies for servicing, MOT, and other essentials.
Weather conditions have a major impact on driving in the UK, especially in winter. New staff should be fully briefed with appropriate safety information.
In most countries in the world, traffic passes on the right hand side of the road, whereas in the UK traffic keeps to the left. Some people adapt more easily than others to making this change. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-_and_right-hand_traffic. NB, some drivers also find single track rural roads to be very challenging.
The community pilot sites for international recruitment have developed a number of solutions to supporting Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to drive in England.