Rediscovering nursing: A study of overseas nurses working in Western Australia

C.D.A. Smith, Colleen Fisher, A. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The shortage of nurses worldwide has taken its toll on the Australian healthcare system and, as a result, there is an increased migration of overseas-qualified nurses, some of them with a non-English-speaking background. Despite Australia's regulations that assess the eligibility for nursing registration, many migrant nurses who have been successful in gaining their nursing license feel only partially prepared to work. This article presents the findings of a study, based on Husserlian phenomenology, that describes the work experience of 13 female nurses who were working in Western Australia, Australia. The participants, who could recognize the core components of nursing, were taken aback by the way that nursing is practised in Western Australia. The major differences that they encountered were related to clinical skills, holistic care, the work dynamic with doctors and patients, and the overall societal status of the nursing profession. As a result, they had to adjust their practice to conform to the new work environment. In this study, the participants elaborated on some positive and some not-so-positive aspects of their experiences in their endeavor to integrate into the Western Australian metropolitan hospital setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-295
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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