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Ethical concerns in nurse migration.
McElmurry BJ; Solheim K; Kishi R; Coffia MA; Woith W; Janepanish P
J Prof Nurs 2006 Jul-Aug; 22(4):226-235
International nurse migration is natural and to be expected. Recently, however, those who have fostered nurse migration believe that it will solve nursing shortages in developed countries and offer nurse migrants better working conditions and an improved quality of life. Whether natural or manipulated, migration flow patterns largely occur from developing to developed countries. In this article, nurse migration is examined using primary health care (PHC) as an ethical framework. The unmanaged flow of nurse migrants from developing to developed countries is inconsistent with "health for all" principles. Removing key health personnel from countries experiencing resource shortages is contrary to PHC equity. Often, nurse migrants are placed in vulnerable, inequitable work roles, and employing nurse migrants fails to address basic causes of nurse shortages in developed countries, such as dissatisfaction with work conditions and decreased funding for academic settings. Nurse migration policies and procedures can be developed to satisfy PHC ethics criteria if they (1) leave developing countries enhanced rather than depleted, (2) contribute to country health outcomes consistent with essential care for all people, (3) are based on community participation, (4) address common nursing labor issues, and (5) involve equitable and clear financial arrangements.
Humans; Men; Women; Attitude; Health-care-personnel; Nursing; Nurses; Mortality-data; Psychological-responses; Psychological-reactions; Public-health; Lifespan
Dr. Beverly J. McElmurry: UIC College of Nursing, Chicago, IL 60612
Issue of Publication
Journal of Professional Nursing
University of Illinois at Chicago
Page last reviewed: January 7, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division