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Keywords:

  • Nursing;
  • workforce;
  • migration;
  • Caribbean

Objective. To (1) provide a contextual analysis of the Caribbean region with respect to forces shaping the current and emerging nursing workforce picture in the region; (2) discuss country-specific case(s) within the Caribbean; and (3) describe the Managed Migration Program as a potential framework for addressing regional and global nurse migration issues.

Principal Findings. The Caribbean is in the midst of a crisis of shortages of nurses with an average vacancy rate of 42 percent. Low pay, poor career prospects, and lack of education opportunities are among the reasons nurses resign. Many of these nurses look outside the region for job opportunities in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and other countries. Compounding the situation is the lack of resources to train nurses to fill the vacancies. The Managed Migration Program of the Caribbean is a multilateral, cross-sector, multi-interventional, long-term strategy for developing and maintaining an adequate supply of nurses for the region.

Conclusions. The Managed Migration Program of the Caribbean has made progress in establishing regional support for addressing the nursing shortage crisis and developing a number of interesting initiatives such as training for export and temporary migration. Recommendations to move the Managed Migration Program of the Caribbean forward focus on advocacy, integration of the program into regional policy decisions, and integration of the program with regional health programming.