A comparison of the education and work experiences of immigrant and the United States of America-trained nurses

O. Mazurenko, G. Gupte, G. Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Aim: This study examined the education and work experience of immigrant and American-trained registered nurses from 1988 to 2008. Background: The USA increasingly relies on immigrant nurses to fill a significant nursing shortage. These nurses receive their training overseas, but can obtain licenses to practice in different countries. Introduction: Although immigrant nurses have been in the USA workforce for several decades, little is known about how their education and work experience compares with USA-trained nurses. Yet much is presumed by policy makers and administrators who perpetuate the stereotype that immigrant nurses are not as qualified. Methods: We analysed the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses datasets from 1988 to 2008 using the Cochran-Armitage trend tests. Results: Our findings showed similar work experience and upward trends in education among both groups of nurses. However, American-trained nurses were more likely to further advance their education, whereas immigrant nurses were more likely to have more work experience and practice in a wider range of healthcare settings. Discussion: Although we discovered differences between nurses trained in the USA and abroad, we theorize that these differences even out, as education and work experience each have their own distinct caregiving advantages. Conclusion: Immigrant nurses are not less qualified than their American-trained counterparts. However, healthcare providers should encourage them to further pursue their education and certifications. Implications for nursing and health policy: Even though immigrant nurses' education and work experience are comparable with their American counterparts, workforce development policies may be particularly beneficial for this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-478
Number of pages7
JournalInternational nursing review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Immigrant Nurse
  • Trend
  • United States of America
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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