Margaret Walton-Roberts, Jennifer Guo, Keegan Williams and Jenna Hennebry
This knowledge synthesis report examines how migrant transition programs (status conversion from temporary to permanent) influence the nursing sector in Canada. Immigrant transition programs have significant relevance for nursing because they add complexity to; labour force planning in the health sector, ethical recruitment protocols for international health care, processes of migrant workforce integration, and the assessment of structural processes that shape and reproduce migration as a form of gendered state developmentalist policy in some sending regions.
Current Research: Indian Trained Nurses in Ontario, Canada
Margaret Walton-Roberts in collaboration with Jenna Hennebry
In her current research, Dr. Walton-Roberts examines the changing spatial and social characteristics of Indian trained nurse emigration as part her wider interest in global skilled migration. She examines the experiences of a cohort of Indian trained nurses to come to Ontario, Canada, for a post-graduate critical/geriatric care course. The custom-designed course was explicitly structured to guide students through the regulatory requirements to practice nursing in Ontario, and all the students entered the program through an immigration-education consultant based in India. Students were mostly drawn from two states in India, Kerala and Punjab. The research examines their experiences in the educational program and their entry into the nursing profession in Canada.
Smita Bhutani, Pradita Gupta and Margaret Walton-Roberts
Based on survey and interview data gathered at nursing schools and colleges across Punjab, this research demonstrates how opportunities linked to the global nursing labour market substantially motivate the uptake of the profession in Punjab. The allure of working overseas is not just accounted for by salary differences, but also by the perceived advantages of continued training and career development that overseas employment (particularly in the west) offers. The research recommends policy changes in Punjab to enhance the attractiveness of the conditions and career development of nursing in order to compensate for the substantial draw the international market offers trained nurses.
Student Nurses and their Post Graduation Migration Plans: A Kerala Case Study
The research explores the training and migration of nurses from Kerala in Southern India. Many western observers argue that currently there is a worldwide shortage of trained nurses, and the demand for all types of qualified nurses can only be serviced through international migration. Based on interviews and surveys, the research demonstrates the overwhelming desire of students to work overseas and elaborates on their geographical preferences with regard to possible destinations. Against the backdrop of the Global Nursing Care Chain, nurse migration to large institutional hospitals with bone fide recruitment agencies is seen as a desirable, indeed permissible, channel of mobility of this class of skilled, feminized migrant, and as such suggests that it will continue to be of significant policy and research interest both in India and abroad.
Walton-Roberts, M. and J. Hennebry (2012) “Indirect pathways into practice: A comparative examination of Indian and Philippine internationally educated nurses and their entry into Ontario’s nursing profession.” CERIS Working Paper No. 92.
Immigration Policy and Skilled Migration
Global competition for skilled migration has seen a range of policy options employed to capture full and partial human capital endowments. Immigration policy in many OECD nations now places a premium on migrants with specific skills that are seen as vital to national development, innovation and competitiveness. Nations are in competition for this talent, often reverting to what has been called a ‘citizenship for talent exchange’. Greater migrant selectivity can be seen in the growing use of the skilled points-based system across immigrant receiving states. One policy arena emerging in response to this need is in the intersection of migration and education. The widespread adoption of models that permit the conversion of international students to permanent migrants has emerged in many OECD nations, though clearly waxing and waning along with economic conditions as the UK’s recent situation reveals.
M. Walton-Roberts, K. Williams, J. Guo and J. Hennebry (2014) Policy Points, Issue V.
Every year, about 17,500 internationally-educated nurses (IENs) immigrate to Canada from countries like the Philippines, India, and China. While many IENs would like to practice in Canada, new immigration policies and professional regulations at the federal and provincial level limits their ability to do so. In response, migrants are increasingly using two-step immigration routes to enter the profession (e.g., international student -> permanent economic immigrant) or pursuing alternative careers in health (e.g., Personal Support Worker). These outcomes have significant policy implications for labour force planning in nursing, ethical recruitment for international healthcare workers, the process of migrant workforce integration, and reproduction of migration as a form of gendered development for sending states. The purpose of this policy points is to summarize our findings from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) knowledge synthesis report on how migrant transition programs intersect with labour force planning in the Canadian nursing sector. We consider the relevance of these issues for employers, regulators, the Canadian health system, and migrants themselves.