Strategies employed by developed countries to facilitate the transition of internationally qualified nurses specialty skills into clinical practice : An integrative review

Journal article


Kurup, Chanchal, Betihavas, Vasiliki, Burston, Adam Scott and Jacob, Elisabeth. (2023). Strategies employed by developed countries to facilitate the transition of internationally qualified nurses specialty skills into clinical practice : An integrative review. Nursing Open. 10(12), pp. 7528-7543. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.2023
AuthorsKurup, Chanchal, Betihavas, Vasiliki, Burston, Adam Scott and Jacob, Elisabeth
Abstract

Background
Recruitment of internationally qualified nurses as a labour source is a long-standing human resource strategy being implemented to address the current and increasing global nursing shortage. Internationally qualified nurses transitioning into the health workforce of developed countries following immigration often possess specialty skills. A lack of a clear pathway of specialty skill utilisation makes recognising and using these specialty skills complex for many nurses. The ability for nurses to transition between countries and maintain specialty practice demands immediate attention in the current atmosphere of the global pandemic and the predictions to recruit more specialist nurses from overseas.

Aim
To identify and synthesise strategies taken by various developed countries in transitioning specialist internationally qualified nurses into practice.

Methods
An integrative review was conducted to identify common themes, patterns, and best practices in order to inform policy development and improve the successful integration of internationally qualified nurses into the healthcare systems of developed countries. The study employed the Whittemore and Knafl five-stage integrative review approach. To conduct a comprehensive search, four electronic databases, namely Medline, CINAHL Complete, ProQuest Health, and EMBASE, were systematically searched in October 2021. The search was updated in March 2022 to ensure the inclusion of the most recent literature. Additionally, Google Scholar was utilised to avoid overlooking any important articles. Prior to the full-text review, three reviewers independently evaluated titles and abstracts. The included papers' quality was determined using the JBI critical appraisal tools.

Results
This study included 10 papers, comprising three studies and seven reports. However, none of these documents provided information on how internationally qualified nurses could transfer their specialty skills acquired overseas to developed countries after immigrating. The guidelines and policies reviewed only offered generic advice on becoming a specialist nurse. Although some countries mentioned that post-graduate qualifications were not mandatory for nurse specialists, the majority of documents in this review emphasised the need for a national framework of education at level eight or higher (equivalent to a post-graduate level) to attain the status of a nurse specialist. Moreover, the included documents did not provide clear information on whether an international specialisation degree would be recognised during the registration process. As a result, confusion persists regarding the requirement of post-graduate qualifications for nurses aiming to specialise and the recognition of international specialisation degrees during the registration process.

Discussion
The lack of consistency in defining nurse specialty and the skill transferability among institutions and state borders were evident in this review. According to all the 10 documents analysed, developed countries appear to have minimum policies on the transfer of internationally qualified nurse's specialty skills. Recommendations for policymakers, employers, and aspirant migrants have been proposed. Limited research has been done on how developed countries used their internationally qualified nurses' overseas-acquired specialist skills after immigration, indicating a lack of a distinct specialist skill transition pathway.

Conclusions
This review presents data to support the need for greater research in this area to better utilise the abilities that internationally qualified nurses bring from their home country and put them to constructive use in the host country, especially in the context of a global pandemic.

Keywordsnurse specialty; nursing expertise; nursing practice; nursing skill; public policy; skill utilisation
Year2023
JournalNursing Open
Journal citation10 (12), pp. 7528-7543
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN2054-1058
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.2023
PubMed ID37794722
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85173467279
PubMed Central IDPMC10643820
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range7528-7543
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Sep 2023
Deposited28 Nov 2023
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