The 30 international nursing recruits at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust recognised their milestone by gathering for a photograph.

The celebration of their time working in the region coincided with International Nurses Day (Sunday May 12).

The majority of the nurses are originally from the Philippines, Singapore, Malysia, India and the Middle East.

Jenny Lacdang, who works in the Medical Physics Department at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “We all arrived during different months during 2004, so we’ve decided to use all of this year to mark our 20th year here.

“We’re all from different places and we all work in different areas within the Trust. Many of us all still keep in touch with the colleagues who helped us as we started working here, even though some have now retired. They have become our friends.

“We all keep in touch with each other too, so we meet up for a coffee and a chat and that’s so good for our wellbeing. If ever you need something, there’s always someone to help.”

Melanie Johnson, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at the Trust, has recorded messages to share with each group of professionals as a direct thank you for their devotion to their jobs in support of the forthcoming days of celebration.

She said: “It is wonderful this group of our internationally recruited nurses are marking this anniversary year. We have a strong track record of bringing skilled healthcare workers to our Trust from abroad to help us deliver the best care possible for our patients.

“This goes hand-in-hand with the support we offer our partners in education, such as the University of Sunderland with its School of Nursing and School of Medicine, so that we can ensure our workforce is ready for the years ahead.

“These upcoming celebration days are an excellent opportunity to recognise the part they, along with our midwives and ODPs, play in our organisation. Being part of the NHS is rewarding and challenging and there are so many opportunities to make a difference and develop a career.

“I want to thank each of them for the part they play in our Trust to help our patients, their families and each other too. Every one will have their own journey to where they are today and together, we create a diverse and vibrant community.”

Anyone interested in joining the Trust can visit for more details about positions available.

STSFT nurses who have moved to the region from abroad to work for the NHS are celebrating their 20th anniversary in the UK. Photo courtesy of Bernadette Gupit and Kiezelle Kayne Gupit.