Background: Several studies have concluded that the use of nurses' time and energy is often not optimized. Given widespread migration of nurses from developing to developed countries, it is important for human resource planning to know whether nursing education in developing countries is associated with more exaggerated patterns of inefficiency.
Objectives: First, to describe nurses' reports on tasks below their skill level. Second, to examine the association between nurses' migratory status (domestically trained nurse or foreign trained nurse from a developing country) and reports on these tasks.
Design: The Registered Nurse Forecasting Study used a cross-sectional quantitative research design to gather data from 33,731 nurses (62% response rate) in 486 hospitals in Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Methods: For this analysis, nurse-reported information on migratory status and tasks below their skill level performed during their last shift was used. Random effects models estimated the effect of nurses' migratory status on reports of these tasks.
Results: 832 nurses were trained in a developing country (2.5% of total sample). Across countries, a high proportion of both domestically trained and foreign trained nurses from developing countries reported having performed tasks below their skill level during their last shift. After adjusting for nurses' type of last shift worked, years of experience, and level of education, there remained a pronounced overall effect of being a foreign trained nurse from a developing country and an increase in reports of tasks below skill level performed during the last shift.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that there remains much room for improvement to optimize the use of nurses' time and energy. Special attention should be given to raising the professional level of practice of foreign trained nurses from developing countries. Further research is needed to understand the influence of professional practice standards, skill levels of foreign trained nurses from developing countries and values attached to these tasks resulting from previous work experiences in their home countries. This will allow us to better understand the conditions under which foreign trained nurses from developing countries can optimally contribute to professional nursing practice in developed country contexts.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.