Nurse Managers' Roles in Leading a Culturally Diverse Nursing Workforce

Monday, 30 October 2017: 2:45 PM

Louise Racine, PhD1
Linda M. Ferguson, PhD1
Sonia Udod, PhD1
Sithokozile Maposa, PhD2
Susan Eva Fowler-Kerry, PhD1
(1)College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
(2)College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Prince Albert, SK, Canada

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to inform on strategies to facilitate the management of an increasingly diverse nursing and healthcare workforce in Canada. Background: Nurses’ migration does not represent a new phenomenon, however, with globalization the amplitude of the phenomenon represents a major issue for nurse administrators in Western countries. The literature proposes that leaders actively participate in building cultural competency skills to create a more culturally sensitive, productive, and diverse health care workforce. It is less clear, however, how nurse administrators can rely upon evidence to support managing practices that facilitate the integration of internationally educated nurses within Canadian healthcare workplaces. This ethnography addressed the following research questions: 1) What is the experience of internationally educated nurses (IENs), Canadian educated nurses, and nurse managers working in culturally diverse units? And 2) How do race, gender, and social class impact the professional, social and cultural integration of internationally educated nurses in nursing workplaces? A postcolonial approach was used to guide the study and provide the paradigmatic lens to examine issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and social class on internationally-educated nurses’ integration and nurse administrators’ managing practices. Methodology: Ethics was secured from the University`s Behavioural Ethics Board, and operational approvals obtained from 4 health authorities. Issues of confidentiality and anonymity were attended. An ethnography was conducted to explore how race, gender, class, ethnicity, culture, and the political context of migration intersect with professional, cultural, and social integration in health organizations. A sample of convenience composed 19 immigrant and Canadian nurses participated in the study. Data was collected through open-ended individual interviews, participant observation sessions, and field notes. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data. Results: Findings suggest that nurse administrators encounter significant challenges in managing a culturally diverse workforce, especially in rural settings. Nurse administrators are called to address issues of professional incompetency, social isolation, and individual and institutional racism that pervade the workplace. Achieving effective management of a culturally diverse workforce is complex and challenging, but comes from the manager’s motivation to support cultural competency and safety and build a supportive environment. This presentation fits with the conference as managing a culturally diverse workforce represent a global issue affecting many high-income countries while depleting low- and middle-income countries.