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International Nursing and Social Care Recruitment Company Team Leader

Wednesday, 06 December 2023

7 Day Health Service
A great ideal
Can the Government make it work?

Sian Dodunski RN (New Zealand) Nursing and Social Care Team Leader, Geneva Health International, UK


Sian is a RN from New Zealand who has a mixed background of experience including ICU/CCU, neuro/vascular and stroke nursing. She made a decision to move away from clinical care to nursing recruitment and is currently a Team Leader for a leading international Nurse recruitment company.


Bachelor of Nursing (New Zealand)


6 months ICU/CCU, 12 months Medical Nursing,
20 months Neuro/Vascular Nursing,
12 months Project Manager for the Stroke Project
16 months as a Recruitment Consultant leading to my current position as Team Leader.

My Career

I started off working in the care system as a bratty 15 year old. I scored a job at the local rest home where my mum worked and it paid better than the local super markets or Burger King.

I started off with cleaning work but as the need increased I found myself doing more and more Care giving shifts. After doing this for some time I swore I would NEVER be a nurse. I could simply not get my head around why any one would want to do that kind of work full time and get paid peanuts!

One of my friend's mothers was a Charge Nurse at the local private hospital and they were looking for a part time Theatre Assistant to help out with some of their lists. I jumped at the chance for a change of scenery. In my first week there I witnessed a cardiac arrest. I was amazed how the team pulled together to do the best by this patient in such a sticky situation. It was this event that prompted me to apply to the local Polytechnic to start my Nursing Degree.

The next 3 years flew by! I continued to work part time in theatres and another Rest Home while studying and doing all the normal Student stuff.

My friend and I decided we wanted to do our New Graduate year in Sydney, Australia. We made contact with Geneva Health International (a healthcare recruitment company) and next thing you know we were on our way to the big smokeā€¦Or so we thought. We ended up getting new graduate positions at a small hospital in Sydney and were privy to all the joys of living in the nurses' home in Oz, massive spiders and no air con! I really enjoyed this post although I did sometimes feel a bit out of my depth as a new grad in ICU with no prior exposure. Due to family circumstances I moved back to New Zealand for one year before returning to Sydney, again with the assistance of Geneva Health International.

For 2 Years I worked at one of the countries biggest teaching hospitals on the neurology and vascular ward. During my time at St Vincent's hospital I learnt so much and was lucky enough to be able to attend study days and a conference. The ward also had an acute stroke unit and I found myself spending a lot of time in this unit. This is where I developed my keen interest in Stroke. After two years in Sydney I decided it was time to make the leap to the UK. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to get my NMC registration due to the new tough regulations imposed by the NMC for overseas nurses. In the end I decided not to get it and take a gamble on how else I could make my qualification and experience work for me.

To my surprise I had no shortage of job offers on my arrival to the UK and I accepted a position managing a Stroke project for Stroke survivors in the community. This was a role completely different to any other I have ever done. As challenging as it was I found working for a charity really rewarding. Many of the stroke survivors were great people and gave me a massive appreciation of the cultural diversity this country has to offer.

After a year I decided it was time to move on and I kept thinking I wanted to move in to a more corporate role. As fate would have it, Geneva Health International were interviewing for a new recruitment consultant. I thought back to the assistance they gave me when moving to Australia and what a difference it made to what could have been a really tricky transition.

After two interviews I secured a position as a Recruitment consultant on the temporary Sourcing team. It was great to work in to a work place full of likeminded individuals. I fit in straight away and loved the challenge from the word go! I especially liked talking to the Australian and New Zealand nurses, as they often knew people I did or worked in places I have worked.

After just over a year I was promoted to the Team leader of the central sourcing team. I feel I have hit the ground running with this post too and have developed a great appreciation and understanding of the commercial nature of Nursing in this country. This post gives me the opportunity to continue to work with local and overseas nurses and also be involved in the Recruitment processes at a more intricate operational level.

I am currently in the process of applying for my NMC registration, as it is now a requirement of my role. With the assistance of Geneva Health International I hope to have this later in the year. Who knows where that will lead me!

What would I have done differently?

I would have though twice about applying for my NMC registration before I left Australia. Although it is an arduous and drawn out process, you never know when you may need it.

What advice would you offer?

Don't cut your nose off to spite your face — investigate the pros and cons of getting your registration! I would also suggest to those overseas nurses who do not have their registration to look for work other than Healthcare Assistant work. Although this work can be rewarding, there are so many other exciting opportunities out there for Registered Nurses who don't have their ONP!

Who offered you the best career advice... and did you take it?

My friend's mother who persuaded me to do my nursing degree in the first place!

What have you liked least about your working life?

I love Nursing but hate night shifts!

What have you enjoyed most?

Having a degree, that has so far, served me very well and opened up several doors already. I also love working for a company with international opportunities!

Was there any event which was pivotal in your career?

Moving to London to pursue a career outside of the clinical setting.

Favourite websites

Geneva Health International
TLC Care Services
British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

Further Information

Telephone: 0207 025 0094

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