Nurses, nannies and caring work: importation, visibility and marketability


Correspondence: Dr B. Brush, University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.E-mail: <>


This paper examines nurses’ international migration within the broader context of female migration, particularly against more studied groups of women who have migrated for employment in care-giving roles. We analyze the similarities and differences between skilled professional female migrants (nurses) and domestic workers (nannies and in-home caretakers) and how societal expectations, meanings, and values of care and ‘women's work’, together with myriad social, cultural, economic and political processes, construct the female migrant care-giver experience. We argue that, as the recruitment of foreign workers gains visibility, strategies are introduced to better prepare female migrant care-givers for the marketplace. Language, specifically command of English and accent modification, is highlighted as one means to assimilate migrant care-givers to host communities.