Migration: A concept analysis from a nursing perspective

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Advanced Nursing





First Page


Last Page





article, Attitude of Health Personnel, Concept analysis, concept formation, Data Collection, decision making, Emigration and Immigration, health personnel attitude, human, Human right, Humans, information processing, methodology, Middle-range theory, migration, motivation, nurse, Nurse migration, Nurses, nursing research, nursing theory, personnel management, Personnel Turnover, psychological aspect


Aim: This article is a report of a concept analysis of nurse migration. Background. International migration is increasing and nurse migrants are active participants in this movement. Migration is a complex term and can be examined from a range of perspectives. Analysis of nurse migration is needed to guide policy, practice and research. Data sources. A literature search was undertaken using electronic literature indexes, specific journals and websites, internet search engines and hand searches. No timeframe was placed on the search. Most literature found was published between 2001 and 2009. A sample of 80 documents met the inclusion criteria. Method. Walker and Avant's approach guided the analysis. Discussion. Nurse migration can be defined by five attributes: the motivation and decisions of individuals; external barriers and facilitators; freedom of choice to migrate; freedom to migrate as a human right, and dynamic movement. Antecedents of migration include the political, social, economic, legal, historical and educational forces that comprise the push and pull framework. The consequences of migration are positive or negative depending on the viewpoint and its affect on the individual and other stakeholders such as the source country, destination country, healthcare systems and the nursing profession. Conclusion. This concept analysis clarified the complexities surrounding nurse migration. A nursing-specific middle-range theory was proposed to guide the understanding and study of nurse migration. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.