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Nursing Leadership Journal

June 24, 2016 | By |

Nursing Leadership, Volume 26, Special Issue April 2013

Migration and Mobility: Informing Nursing Health Human Resources Retention and Recruitment Policy
 

Barbara Foster, Sandra MacDonald-Rencz and Linda McGillis Hall

 

Introduction

People need to move to where the work is. This has always been a normal part of job-searching strategies for individuals. We witnessed this pattern throughout the 20th century, especially towards the end. However, when large numbers of an occupational group have had to move because of economic issues, this normal pattern changes. Interest in the movement of healthcare professionals became acute in the latter part of the previous century because of emerging shortages in many health professions. As a result, employers, regulators and governments have been working together to address the issues underlying these patterns.

 

The compilation of the research undertaken for this Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership on migration and mobility, both to the United States (see the papers by McGillis Hall, Peterson, Price, Lalonde et al. and Peterson et al.) and across Canada (see McGillis Hall, Peterson, Price, Andrews et al.), provides excellent new evidence and paints a picture of our current understanding of the multifaceted factors at play with respect to this important health human resources issue. This research provides the nursing community and policy and decision-makers with an opportunity to compare current findings with earlier migration and mobility trends and challenges since the early 1990s, and enables us to predict how these may continue to have an impact into the next decade.

 

Reference is given to the fact that policy and decision-makers need to appreciate some of the present trends and to consider some additional factors as we face new opportunities in the nursing workforce. These issues resulted in all levels of governments and the broader nursing community coming together to address health human resources challenges through a variety of recruitment and retention policy initiatives and innovations. The federal initiatives that complement many of the provincial, territorial and broader nursing community efforts are highlighted. Moving forward, this research also lays the groundwork for continued and further research by questioning what still needs to be done.

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