A West Midlands hospital is to recruit staff from India, China and the Philippines because of a shortage of qualified nurses in the UK.
New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton is taking on 170 staff over the next year as part of a £3.6m recruitment drive.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust was told last week by the Care Quality Commission to increase staff for surgical care and older people.
It said having to recruit nurses from overseas could cost an extra £250,000.
Chief executive David Loughton said: “We need to up the staffing levels because of the dependency of patients and in all probability to get that number we have to go abroad.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the shortage of qualified nurses had been affected by savings being made in the NHS.
Tim Baggs, from the RCN, said: “Demand on services is rising, more and more nurses are reaching retirement and there are actually fewer newly qualified nurses coming through to replace them.
“The profession is still very attractive, there are 10 applications for every training place, but the number of nursing students being trained has been cut because of huge pressures on the NHS to save money.”