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The relevance of globalization to nursing: a concept analysis


Dr John Grootjans, The University of Sydney, Sydney Nursing School, 88 Mallett St Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia; Tel: 61-2-9351-0615; Fax: 61-2-9351-0615; E-mail:


GROOTJANS J. & NEWMAN S. (2013) The relevance of globalization to nursing: a concept analysis. International Nursing Review60, 78–85

Background:  This paper emerged alongside the development of learning materials for a new unit of study on global health and nursing. The proposed unit was for inclusion in a graduate entry master of nursing course leading to registration. It became evident that there has been growing attention within the nursing literature to the demands of an increasingly globalized world and the subsequent challenges confronting nursing as a profession. At the same time, the literature is inconsistent and contains mixed messages with regard to how nurses and nursing might respond to these challenges.

Aim:  This paper aims to (i) present the findings of a narrative analysis of the current nursing discourse on globalization, and (ii) to identify directional cohesiveness for the nursing profession in the seemingly disparate literature.

Method:  Concept analysis following extensive literature review.

Findings:  Several nursing authors argue that nurses globally are increasingly sharing concerns expressed by nurses at a local level. Concerns such as the future sustainability of the profession and more specifically practice concerns such as the continuing failure of nurses to adequately deal with social justice issues requires careful consideration by every nurse. While strategies recommended for dealing with these concerns lack a cohesive thread, some interesting themes and innovative recommendations have emerged. For example, the need for nurses to consider replacing environmental considerations with ecological considerations and that nurses consider preventative nursing practice beyond the immediate needs of clients and from a more global perspective.