Internationally recruited nurses and their initial integration into the healthcare workforce: A mixed methods study

Charlene Pressley, Dillon Newton, Joanne Garside, John Stephenson, Joel Mejia-Olivares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nursing deficits are growing, and healthcare providers in developed countries must address the challenges of ethically building a sustainable workforce without a continued excessive reliance on overseas recruitment. To secure this, a focus on long-term retention of international recruits is paramount. Objective: To explore the migration motivations and experiences of initial integration for internationally recruited nurses within the healthcare system (England). Design: A mixed methods survey. Setting(s) and participants: 655 internationally recruited nurses who had recently commenced work in England completed the survey. Methods: qualitative and quantitative data was gathered to explore internationally recruited nurses’ demographics and professional backgrounds, migration motivations, application processes, arrival and settlement and initial experiences of integration into the workforce alongside their support and future aspirations. Results: The quantitative results revealed a population of international nurses that were highly educated and vastly experienced, with career development and desires to improve quality of life being the primary motivations for migration. Participants indicated a perception of being well supported during initial application and arrival stage, however, did experience some degree of challenge during workplace integration involving fluctuating levels of support and appointments into positions that did not match their years of experience and previous qualifications. This data was reinforced further detailed by the qualitative feedback that illuminated the difficulties nurses can face during initial arrival and integration and the apparent impact on mental well-being. Conclusion: This paper, contextualised with an international literature base verifying the experiences of internationally recruited nurses, argues that it is the consistent responsibility of employers in developed countries to protect the experiences of international recruits. This can be done by investing in solutions as a key retention strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100154
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies Advances
Early online date19 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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