This paper is an opinion piece based on experience and supported where possible with literature, which addresses an issue of both national and international interest. It focuses on one aspect of the multifaceted social phenomenon of nurse migration, i.e. nurse education.
Background: Much has been written about the direct effects of nurse migration on the nurse migrant, the delivery of health care in the countries that supply the nurses, and the countries that receive them. However, there is little information regarding the direct effects of migration on nurse education within the literature.
Aim: The aim of this paper is to raise awareness of the positive and negative effects of nurse migration on nurse education both in the countries that supply nurses and those which receive them.
Methods: Both scholarly and ‘grey’ literature is used to support the discussion on the ‘real’ challenges faced by nurse educators and clinical nurses in those countries that supply or receive nurses. In addition, practical recommendations for nurse educators are presented. Furthermore, the nursing profession is challenged to become politically active, to become involved and to take responsibility for the decisions made about nurse education in order to protect the integrity of nurse education and patient safety.
Conclusion: The quality of nurse education in many countries has been undermined as a result of rapid, mass migration. There is an urgent need to take practical steps to maintain the integrity of nurse education and the nurse's preparation for practice in order to protect patients' safety.