Nurse Manager Perspectives on Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) and Hiring Practices in Long-Term Care

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Katrina Haynes, BSN
School of Nursing, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, Canada
Barbara Astle, PhD
School of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies and Centre for Equity and Global Engagement, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, Canada
Margery Hawkins, PhD
Consultant, Langley, BC, Canada

Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) are an integral part of Canada’s nursing workforce. However, when nurses immigrate to Canada they often encounter many barriers, from being a newcomer to successfully practicing nursing in the Canadian context. These barriers have been well documented and include hurdles at every step of the process of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in Canada, for example, with immigrating; obtaining nursing certification, which may involve taking a language test, writing the RN Licensing exam, or upgrading their skills and taking additional courses, prior to finding employment; and lastly, with successfully integrating into a new workplace. Much of the literature about IENs focuses on the various issues they encounter from their perspective; however, there is a gap in the literature that fails to address the hiring practices of Nursing Managers. A better understanding of the hiring practices of Nursing Managers may benefit IENs and nurse educators by making them aware of employers’ expectations. A qualitative study using Interpretive Description was used to explore the perceptions and experiences that influence the hiring practice decisions of Nursing Managers in long-term care settings who employ IENs with Canadian RN licensure. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with seven Nursing Managers in long-term care settings in Western Canada. Thematic analysis guided interpretation of the emerging themes. The three themes are 1) Acknowledging the Complexities, 2) Finding the Right Fit, and 3) Navigating Differences. The results will be discussed as they relate to the hiring practices of Nursing Managers of IENs in long-term care settings, as well as, the application of the findings to other practice settings, nursing education, professional nursing organizations, and immigrant serving organizations that assist IENs with their transition to nursing employment. Gaining insight into the hiring practices of Nursing Managers may provide better support for IENs finding gainful employment and ensure their successful transition into the workplace. Implications for nursing and recommendations for further research related to understanding the hiring practices of IENs by Nursing Managers in other settings will be discussed.