Supporting Indian nurses migrating to New Zealand: a literature review


Margaret Woodbridge, School of Nursing, UCOL, Private Bag 11022, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand; Tel: 64-6-9527000 ext 70411; Fax: 64-6-9527002; E-mail:


WOODBRIDGE M. & BLAND M. (2010) Supporting Indian nurses migrating to New Zealand: a literature review. International Nursing Review57, 40–48

Background:  New Zealand, like many other Western countries, is struggling to cope with increasing demands for nursing services. Registered nurses are being actively recruited internationally and New Zealand has become a popular destination for nurses who wish to emigrate, including those from India. These nurses have unique cultural, professional and educational needs yet it is unclear how to best support them as they move to their destination countries.

Aims:  The issues around nursing migration and its effects have been discussed in many forums, but there is evidence of a gap in understanding the issues around acculturation and socialization. This selected literature review sought to identify the significant factors that impact on migrating nurses becoming competent and confident registered nurses in the New Zealand practice environment.

Methods:  A bibliographical database search was undertaken (Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, CINAHL, Medline, Academic Search Elite, and Ebscohost EJS) along with national and international nursing websites for the period 2002–2009. Search terms included Indian nurse, international nurse, migration, experience, cultural safety, globalization, nurse migration, nurse recruitment, New Zealand and research. The search was limited to texts published in English, with preference given to peer-reviewed research-based articles.

Results:  A significant volume of literature was located. The key themes that arose were migration, education, language, nursing skills, competence, cultural safety and reflection on practice. Literature considered to best reflect these main themes, and of most relevance to New Zealand, was selected for this review, with preference given to research reports and official nursing publications.

Conclusion:  Strategies such as providing ongoing professional education, ensuring cultural safety and offering mentoring in practice environments will contribute to a safe passage for migrating nurses. Further research is required into the acculturation and socialization of Indian nurses, especially those moving to New Zealand.