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Playing the game: a grounded theory of the integration of international nurses


Chun Tie, Y and Birks, M and Francis, K, Playing the game: a grounded theory of the integration of international nurses, Collegian, 26, (4) pp. 470-476. ISSN 1322-7696 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2018.12.006


Background: Migration trends toAustralia have seen an increase in international nurses, with twenty-nine percent of current registered nurses having received their first nursing qualification outside of Australia. The process international and local nurses navigate to enable successful integration into the Australian healthcare system is unclear.

Aim: To explore how international nurses and Australian nurses adapt to work together in the Australian healthcare system and to develop a theory that explains this process.

Methods: Grounded theory methodology was used. Concurrent data collection/generation and analysis of online-survey data (n = 186) and in-depth interviews (n = 15) was undertaken. Storyline was used as a technique of analysis to develop, construct and present the theory. Focus groups (n = 9 + 7) were conducted to confirm the relevance of the theory.

Findings: Nurses work together to enable successful integration of international nurses. Four phases underpin this adaptation to the cultural norms of the workplace: (i) Joining the game; (ii) Learning the game, (iii) Playing by the rules, and (iv) The end game. These phases comprise the grounded theory Playing the game: Integration of internationally qualified registered nurses in the Australian healthcare system.

Discussion: Additional orientation programs and collegiate support for international nurses were significant factors influencing successful adaption to the cultural context of the work environment. Defining the role and scope of practice of the registered nurse in the Australian context provided challenges.

Conclusion: Supportive colleagues were critical to successful integration and retention of experienced nurses irrespective of where nurses obtain their nursing qualification. Additional orientation programs for international nurses could improve the experience of nurses migrating to work in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaption, Australia, grounded theory, healthcare systems, integration, nurses, internationa
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Francis, K (Professor Karen Francis)
ID Code:131680
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2019-03-29
Last Modified:2019-12-09

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