• Health Workforce Planning;
  • Nurse Education;
  • Nurse Faculty Migration;
  • Nurse Shortages;
  • Tertiary Education


To undertake a systematic review of English and Spanish literature relating to nurse faculty migration.


A systematic review of both published literature, using CINAHL, EMBASE, ERIC and MEDLINE, and grey literature, using Google and Yahoo search engines, utilizing a defined search strategy with key terms, wild card strings and logical operators, was undertaken. An initial limitation of searching for material published in the last ten years was removed due to the poor yield of relevant papers. In total, 18 research-based studies were identified, retrieved and reviewed.

Finally, the retrieved material was reviewed and augmented by a group of nurse faculty and migration experts, who offered comments and proposed additional grey literature. With increased globalization, the impact of mutual recognition agreements and associated modes of supply of services as well as those factors influencing clinical nurse migration was also considered.


Studies on clinical nurse migration and general academic faculty provided some insights, but nursing faculty differ in a number of key ways and this needs to be considered when interpreting the results. Based on this systematic review, the paper concludes that nurse faculty migration is a neglected topic and one that warrants urgent investigation if health systems redesign and the associated scale-up of nurses are to be achieved. Particular gaps in knowledge relate to nurse faculty workforce planning, and understanding the dynamics and flows of faculty both across and within countries. It is unclear as to the extent to which our knowledge of push and pull factors relating to clinical nurse migration can be used in understanding nurse faculty migration.


The current policy position of organizations such as the World Health Organization and individual governments to increase nursing numbers is incomplete without due consideration of faculty migration.