eCite Digital Repository

Overseas qualified nurses in Australia: Reflecting on the issue


Stankiewicz, G and O'Connor, M, Overseas qualified nurses in Australia: Reflecting on the issue, Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31, (3) pp. 32-38. ISSN 0813-0531 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 AJAN

Official URL:


Objective: The migration of international nurses is a growing phenomenon and will continue in response to global nursing shortages. Historically, nursing has been depicted as a 'portable' profession, or one which enables individuals to move across inter/national borders. This 'portability' of nursing is supporting skilled nurse migration around the world. However, nursing practices learned by Overseas Qualified Nurses (OQN) in their home countries may differ to the role and expectations of the new country in relation to scope of practice, professional and legal environment, accountability, professional autonomy, health care technology and inter-professional relationships.

Primary argument: Relatively little is known about the experiences of OQN in Australia and particularly, about those from non-English speaking backgrounds. Supported by international literature and personal experiences, this paper describes the adaptation process and challenges faced by OQN in beginning a new life in Australia.

Conclusion: Australia, like many other developed countries, is facing an ageing population and an ageing health workforce, including nurses. The global shortage of nurses in many countries, including Australia, means that OQN will continue to be a significant part of the workforce. As the welcoming country, Australia can benefit from hosting OQN and these nurses in return contribute to the enrichment of Australian life.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Nursing, Education, Overseas qualification,
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Stankiewicz, G (Dr Grace Stankiewicz)
ID Code:104283
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-11-06
Last Modified:2017-11-02

Repository Staff Only: item control page