The downward occupational mobility of internationally educated nurses to domestic workers



Despite the fact that there is unmet demand for nurses in health services around the world, some nurses migrate to destination countries to work as domestic workers. According to the literature, these nurses experience contradictions in class mobility and are at increased risk of exploitation and abuse. This article presents a critical discussion of the migration of nurses as domestic workers using the concept of ‘global care chain’. Although several scholars have used the concept of global care chains to illustrate south to north migration of domestic workers and nurses, there is a paucity of literature on the migration of nurses to destination countries as domestic workers. The migration of nurses to destination countries as domestic workers involves the extraction of reproductive and skilled care labor without adequate compensatory mechanisms to such skilled nurses. Using the case of the Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program, the study illustrates how the global movement of internationally educated nurses as migrant domestic workers reinforces inequities that are structured along the power gradient of gender, class, race, nationality, and ethnicity, especially within an era of global nursing shortage.