A meta-synthesis of the transitioning experiences and career progression of migrant African nurses

Jonathan Bayuo, Mary Abboah-Offei, Precious Adade Duodu, Yakubu Salifu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: With the rise in global migration, hospitals and health systems in developed countries are looking to supplement their workforces with migrant nurses who have been reported to feel devalued, underutilized with experience of deskilling and unmet expectations as they transitioned. Despite the plethora of literature reporting on the experiences of internationally trained nurses, only limited work has been done regarding understanding the experiences of Migrant African nurses. Thus, this study sought to synthesize existing qualitative studies to develop in-depth understanding of the transitioning experiences of migrant African nurses, their career progression and to highlight existing gaps to guide future studies as well as inform policies.

METHOD: A meta-synthesis was performed and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and the Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research statement. A pre-planned search strategy was developed guided by the SPIDER tool for qualitative synthesis searching EMBASE via OVID, CINAHL via EBSCO, PubMed, Web of Science, and PsychINFO databases. We included published studies that 1) focused on migrant African nurses, 2) employed a qualitative design and 3) reported in English.

RESULTS: The search yielded 139 studies of which nine studies met the inclusion criteria and included in final synthesis. Three themes with corresponding subthemes emerged from data synthesis: 1) Navigating reality shock (a. Navigating a new culture, b. Survival strategies and support amidst the shock); 2) Discrimination and limited opportunities for promotion (a. Prejudices and preference for White over Black, b. Lack of recognition and limited opportunities for a workplace promotion); and 3) Finding one's feet (a. Standing up for oneself and looking beyond discrimination, b. Experiencing growth).

CONCLUSION: Transitioning to a new setting can be a challenging experience for migrant African nurses warranting the availability of a tailor-made adaptation or orientation programme. Though African nurses may experience discrimination and prejudices as part of their transition, they consider their situation to be better off compared to back home. Therefore, clear transitioning policies which focus on career pathways are required by hiring institutions, and migrant nurses should be proactive in taking active roles in pushing their career ahead, instead of maintaining a culture of silence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Number of pages20
JournalBMC Nursing
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023

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