ICN believes that nurses in all countries have the right to migrate as a function of choice, regardless of their motivation. Today, many young nurses look for employment abroad for many reasons. ICN acknowledges the potential benefits of migration, including learning opportunities and the rewards of multicultural practice. At the same time, ICN acknowledges that international migration may negatively affect health care quality in regions or countries seriously depleted of their nursing workforce.
This marked increase in movement of the health care workforce across national borders generates a number of concerns. Paramount among these concerns is the issue of public and patient safety. Globally, ICN continues to develop competencies, model legislation, regulatory policy and guidelines in order to bring transparency, provide portability of education and facilitate trade in services. Nurses must be engaged in the formulation of these arrangements, as these frameworks must recognise not only the theoretical learning, but also the practical dimensions of producing a competent professional. For more on this topic, go to:
- ICN position statement on Nurse Retention and Migration
- The International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM)
- ICNM fact sheets on Return Migration of Nurses and International Nurse Migration and Remittances
- ICNM publication “Return Migration of Nurses”