Examining Filipinos as Foreign-Educated Nurses in the United States from the Perspectives of Post-Colonialism

Saturday, 26 July 2014: 7:20 AM

Leo-Felix M. Jurado, PhD, RN, NE-BC, APN, CNE
Nursing Department, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

Purpose: .  The study objectives were: (a) describe the historical events contributing to mass recruitment of nursing graduates from the Philippines to the US, ( b) analyze the political and economic factors underlying the unidirectional flow of foreign-educated nurses from the Philippines to the US, (c) examine the impact of large scale nursing recruitment from the Philippines to the US, and (d) analyze the influence of post-colonial forces on conditions of employment and perceived value of FENs in the US.  

 Methods: The qualitative study design used historical research and focus groups. The data sources included primary and secondary sources, collected between 1900 to 2013 in the US and the Philippines. Four separate focus groups were conducted with 21 FENs who entered the US under different visas for training or employment between 1962- 2006. Findings from historical data and focus groups were triangulated in analyzing linkages and significance of events in the phenomenon of interest.  

Results: The findings revealed that mass emigration of nurses from the Philippines to the US is facilitated by nursing shortages that brought changes in immigration laws easing entry of nurses to the US. 

Conclusion: The fusion between the subjective and objective reality constructed nursing and migration to the US as key to improving the economic well-being and social status of FENs and their families. Filipino families, schools, and government take an active role in promoting this social reality. The American benevolent assimilation agenda, US-based public education, and nursing education and practice have perpetuated American superiority and dependence of Filipinos on Americans. Findings provide an understanding of institutionalized structures perpetuating global inequalities in nurse migration and distribution that impact differentially among sending and receiving countries. The study has implications in policy development to promote retention of nurses in their home countries and foreign countries where they immigrate.