Details of NPO

Address by the Chairperson

In recent years, a chronic shortage of physicians and nurses has created a serious situation on the medical care front, and in particular, areas plagued by a depopulation of medical personnel continue to find themselves in severe circumstances. In the field of nursing, it is becoming difficult for nursing schools to assure sufficient levels of enrollment.

Given these circumstances, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare drew up a three-year plan in 2005 to promote regulatory reform and disengagement from the private sector. Under that plan, people who have residence status in Japan but whose activities are limited by their status are now authorized to apply to sit for national examinations. This has opened the door to large numbers of people from overseas who hope to obtain nursing certification in Japan.

With the deregulation policy providing a springboard, we held our inaugural meeting as an incorporated non-profit organization in December 2005, and in June 2006, we were officially launched and embarked on our activities. Since then, we have moved steadily forward, and by April 2013, we had assisted a total of 130 people in taking the examinations, and had prepared a total of 126 nurses to take their places in medical settings.

One feature of our NPO is that we go beyond simply introducing foreign nurses who have passed the national examination to medical facilities; we helped to train and educate nurses who thoroughly understand the true spirit of nursing in Japan.

To accomplish this, we have cultivated mutual understanding with schools in other countries that are prospective candidates for alliance agreements by initiating exchanges of ideas and opinions and visiting each other's facilities. We have also provided opportunities for prospective nursing students to visit Japan, interact with people in local areas, and engage in volunteer activities, with a focus on achieving a deeper understanding of the culture of Japan. Additionally, we have created "Intake Facility Approval Standards", and we have visited facilities that would like to accept foreign nurses and reviewed the degree of understanding on the part of management and medical personnel, as well as various systems at these facilities. We introduce nurses only to carefully selected facilities that meet our standards.

Through this approach, we have created a comprehensive nurse training program that encompasses all steps from finding schools in other countries with which to form alliances, to providing support in daily living for nurses from the time that they arrive in Japan until they take the nursing examination. We help them understand Japanese culture, and approve facilities that will ultimately accept these nurses for employment. Going even further, we provide opportunities each year for graduates and potential employers to meet and exchange ideas and opinions, reviewing and fine-tuning our program as necessary.

Some of the first graduates from our program have already found employment and are working as associate chief nurses at medical facilities. With the aim of ensuring sufficient numbers and a high level of quality among nurses in Japan, we are working to create more substantial systems for providing medical care, and thus to contribute in even a small way to realizing a society in which people can feel secure about the organizations and facilities providing their medical care. We continue to work patiently and steadily towards achieving that goal.

渡辺理事長

International Nurse Support Cahirman,
Satoshi Watanabe