Nurses on the move

Consistent with an increasingly globalised world millions of nurses find themselves on the move.

Sometimes nurse migration occurs within a nation’s borders with nurses migrating from rural to urban areas or from the public to the private sector. Or they may move from the health care sector to the wider health industry, for example from a hospital to a pharmaceutical company.

But increasingly, and for differing reasons, more and more nurses are opting for global mobility. This international migration of nurses is not only greater in scale than in the past it is different in its direction and location.

Traditionally, international nurse migration was from one industrialised nation to another. Irish nurses went to Britain; New Zealand nurses came to Australia.

A recent phenomenon has been the rapid growth in the movement of nurses from developing countries to industrialised countries.

Public Services International (PSI), to which the NSWNA is affiliated, is documenting the experiences of migrant health and social care workers in their countries of origin and their countries of destination.

The research aims to gather evidence to improve international union policies on migration and health care.

PSI recently held a symposium on the plight of migrant nurses and this month The Lamp talks to two nurses, who migrated to Australia, about their experiences.