Year

2010

Degree Name

Master of Nursing by Research

Department

University of Wollongong. School of Nursing, Midwifery & Indigenous Health

Abstract

In past decades, nurse migration has increasingly become a worldwide phenomena. Throughout published literature exploring the experiences of overseas qualified nurses, it has been found that most studies are undertaken in the UK and USA. These studies focused on nurses from Africa and Asia. In the majority of this research, Japanese nurses are categorised into a group of Eastern Asian registered nurses. Moreover, no literature was available focusing specifically on Japanese nurses who work overseas. Though the concept of nursing itself should not differ to a great degree, cultural differences may affect Japanese nurses when they practice overseas. This is the first study exploring the experiences of Japanese registered nurses who are working in Australia.

This qualitative study recruited 14 Japanese registered nurses who transferred their Japanese registration to the Australian registration in NSW. A snowball sampling technique was used. Interviews were conducted using six open-ended questions. Tape recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed. Coding and categorisation derived the main themes which describes and supports the adaptation process of these nurses to Australia.

There were three stages identified from the data regarding the adaptation process, which consisted of eight potential themes. The three derived phases are called; ‘Seeking’, ‘Acclimatising’ and ‘Settling’, collectively named the ‘S.A.S model’. Since the only participants in this study were Japanese nurses, the emerging data clearly demonstrated that during the adaptation process nurses tended to reflect their own culture in their nursing practice. It will be interesting to further investigate whether this model can also be applied to Overseas Qualified Nurses (OQNs) in other environments. For instance, in Japan, where the government has recently agreed to accept Indonesian and Philippine nurses as part of their workforce. Increasing our understanding of the experience of OQNs may be utilised in the development of education programs.

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