Factors Affecting the Transition of Internationally Educated Nurses Migrating to the United States of America

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 10:30 AM

Kristina Ibitayo, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

Learning Objective 1: To develop a greater understanding of the relocation and transition experiences of internationally educated nurses migratng to the US.

Learning Objective 2: To identify the desired endpoint of the transition experience.


This exploratory descriptive study described the push factors, pull factors, personal characteristics, motivation to migrate, transition conditions, family/social environment, work environment, and professional satisfaction of internationally educated nurses (IENs) in the US health care system.  It described the differences in these IENs across source countries by world region.


The target population was IENs who migrated to the US. The sample was a non-random convenience sample of IENs. The setting was the professional community of nurses in the US.

Subject recruitment was done by 1) e-mail announcements with a link to the online survey (Nurse International Relocation and Transition Questionnaire 2, Gray & Johnson, 2008) to IENs identified by key gatekeepers, 2) organizational webpage postings, or 3) flyers/emails to IENs by published nurse migration experts. Key gatekeepers were officers in national nursing associations, nurse leaders in large health care systems/hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and published experts.  


Findings on the transition and relocation experiences of IENs provided support for the validity of the Ibitayo (2009) model, Migration and Transition of Internationally Educated Nurses. The desired endpoint of the transition experience is professional satisfaction. The majority of the participants had been in the US for several years and experienced high professional satisfaction. There was not a significant difference in the IENs primary motivation to migrate. Among IENs who received their basic nursing education in different WHO regions, there were no significant differences in professional satisfaction. However, there was a difference among IENs in different WHO regions in transition conditions, family/social environment, work environment, motivation to migrate, push factors, and pull factors.


This study added to the knowledge base on nurse migration issues by providing a greater understanding of IENs relocation and transition experiences in the US and their successful integration into the healthcare workforce.