Nursing, a Global Profession: Is Region of Education Related to Career Advancement?

Monday, July 11, 2011: 10:35 AM

Mary Ellen Glasgow, RN, PhD, CS1
Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA, BC2
Anand Bhattacharya, MHS1
(1)College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
(2)Department of Nursing Education & Development, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Professional excellence and personal fulfillment underscore the need for all registered nurses to enhance their skills and competencies through professional development (PD) and career advancement (CA).  PD is the process by which nurses keep their skills and competency current to meet the patient healthcare needs. CA refers to the process that professionals undergo to achieve positive changes in job roles and salaries. Emerging evidence suggests that Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) participate less in ongoing professional development activities, and progress relatively slower through the nursing career ladder compared to U.S. educated nurses (UENs). With globalization, it is likely that the numbers of IENs in the U.S. will continue to grow. It is important that IENs engage in PD and CA opportunities at equivalent levels as UENs. Practice of excellence from every nurse can advance the profession in an increasingly global environment.

Purpose: Determine the differences in levels of participation in professional development activities and career advancement opportunities between IENs and UENs.

Methods: IENs and UENs completed an online survey related to professional development and career advancement.  Independent t tests and chi-square analyses were conducted to determine differences between groups. Level of significance was set at alpha = 0.05

Results: Although IENs enter the profession with higher educational preparation; they were significantly less likely to pursue a higher degree. IENs mostly work as frontline nurses while three out of four had only been promoted once in their career. Despite average of 10 years of nursing practice, two out of every five nurses had never been promoted.

Conclusion:   Nurse leaders must create a work environment where all nurses are able to participate in professional development and career advancement. Each nurse has the responsibility to engage in self-leadership for personal and professional fulfillment.  Nursing needs a standardized career advancement model with corresponding incentives