BACKGROUND: This paper describes a study that explores the experiences of internationally educated nurses (IENs) in their efforts to gain entry to practice as Registered Nurses (RNs) in the province of Ontario, Canada. AIM: The aim was to uncover, in part, the issues related to professional nursing credentialling. METHODS: This study was guided by a biographical narrative (qualitative) research methodology. A convenience sample of 12 IEN students volunteered for this study representing the Philippines, Mainland China, Korea, Ukraine and India. FINDINGS: The findings were that the IENs progress through a three-phase journey in their quest for licensure in Ontario. These phases include: (1) hope - wanting the Canadian dream of becoming an RN in Ontario; (2) disillusionment - discovering that their home-country nursing qualifications do not meet Ontario RN entry to practice; and (3) navigating disillusionment - living the redefined Canadian dream by returning to nursing school to upgrade their nursing qualifications. CONCLUSIONS: Professional regulatory nursing bodies and nursing educators, as well as practising nurses, must be aware of the potentially confusing and unpleasant processes IENs go through as they qualify for the privilege of practising nursing in Ontario.
Today's globalized economy creates opportunities for health professionals but corresponding challenges for countries facing significant shortages of these professionals. The uneven playing field between developed and developing countries hampers the latter in recruiting and retaining trained professionals to oversee and maintain their health systems. Given the salary differentials and variance in working conditions between developed and developing countries, developing countries may lack the pull factors to keep their nurses and doctors from emigrating. However, many developed countries have made significant investments to address this challenge.
Comment On: Nurs Leadersh (Tor Ont). 2009;22(1):24-5019289910
Little is known about nurses who leave Canada to work in the US. The main purpose of this study is to gain some insight into the emigration component of nursing supply and demand by comparing characteristics of nurses who left Canada to nurses who stayed. Specifically, Canadian-trained RNs who work in the state of North Carolina are compared to RNs who work in Canada. Results show that there are 40% more Canadian-trained RNs in North Carolina than there are in Prince Edward Island. A higher percentage of Canadian-trained RNs in North Carolina are male, under 40 years of age, have baccalaureate training and graduated less than 10 years ago. Canadian-trained nurses in both countries have very low rates of unemployment. The loss of Canadian-trained RNs to the US is a significant problem, and there is an urgent need to obtain a better understanding of why nurses leave the country.