Migration Experiences of Foreign Educated Nurses: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Sally Moyce, Rebecca Lash, Mary Lou de Leon Siantz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: Global nurse migration has a recognized impact on host and source countries, but the lived experience of foreign educated nurses is an important aspect of the success of this migration. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to understand the lived migration and acculturation experiences of foreign educated nurses. Design: A systematic review of the literature, based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, was conducted. Primary research articles or secondary analyses were selected based on keyword and citation-based searches (n = 44). Findings: Nurses’ experiences included migration and licensing barriers, difficulty with communication, racism and discrimination, skill underutilization, acculturation, and the role of the family. Conclusions: Barriers encountered in host countries may impede acculturation and successful nursing practice, resulting in circular migration and poor patient safety outcomes. Implications for Practice: Social support systems and cultural orientation programs can mitigate the impacts of social isolation and racism. Addressing common barriers can help minimize deskilling and allow safe and effective transitions to host countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • migration
  • nursing practice
  • workforce diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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