1 Who are the migrating nurses?
2 Push and Pull factors
3 Effects of migration
List of Literature
Migration of employees –and in particular of nurses- is no new concern. But especially the immigration from oversea nurses to the United Kingdom (UK) is highly discussed (Stilwell, 2004). Extreme nurse shortages in the UK, due to bad payment and dissatisfactory work environment, are reasons for the demand, additionally to the general demographic transition in the population with increasing demand for services, but at the same time decreasing supply of professional nurse services (Buchan, 2002). This synopsis gives an overview about the topic, its problematic sites and solutions.
1 Who are the migrating nurses?
In general there are two different groups of nurses, who are coming to the UK. Either they come from the EU/ EEA (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) or from outside this region. Migrants from the EU or EEA have the right to work in another member-country. They have mostly an education as a nurse or are going to be educated in the UK
People, who are coming from outside this region normally need a verification of their qualification, which differs often between the countries (Buchan, 2002). But the UK has got a special regulation, which allows it also to work without an valid nursery exam. Domestic colleagues have then the obligation to train oversea nurses (Aiken, 2004). In contrast to the EU-region, the UK is here allowed to test nurses in their English language skills and use this as an exclusion criterion. Immigrants from this region get contracts from half a year to two years as a maximum.
The number of immigrants from the EU and EEA to the UK remains constant since many years. Due to language barriers many European nurses don´t chose often to go to the UK. The amount of nurses immigrating from outside grows steadily and is more important for the UK, because 87% (2001) of all oversea nurses are from this region. The main resource countries for the UK are the Philippines, South Africa and Australia (Tab.1). Whereas the Philippines have by far the biggest amount and this is even steadily increasing. Furthermore many nurses come from India, Zimbabwe and other African states (Tab.1) (Aiken, 2004; Buchan, 2002).
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Tab.1: Major Donor and Receiving Countries of Migrating Nurses (Kline, 2003, p.108)
2 Push and Pull Factors
Push-factors, which arise from the situation in donor countries and pull- factors, which draw people to destination countries, mostly appear as a combination. Kline (2003) distinguishes between three groups of push and pull factors. The educational factors, economic/ social factors and the personal safety factors. Many nurses go to improve their professional development, their working- standards or to get a secure job (educational factors). Economic and social factors are e.g. low wages, wars, deprivation or social unrest (Stilwell, 2004). Personal safety factors can be seen on the one hand as an escape to get political safety, but on the other hand also for their health. The danger to be infected with HIV or TB is much higher in many donor countries than in the UK (Kline, 2003).