Career advancement and educational opportunities: experiences and perceptions of internationally educated nurses

Nurs Leadersh (Tor Ont). 2012;25(3):56-67. doi: 10.12927/cjnl.2012.23055.


The number of internationally educated nurses is increasing in the Canadian workforce. Recruitment of internationally educated nurses is often seen as a solution to ongoing nursing shortages. However, international recruitment needs to be accompanied by strategies to ensure long-term retention. One of the criteria for successful retention is the availability and accessibility of career advancement and educational opportunities. Little research exists on the opportunities for career advancement and education for internationally educated nurses in Canada. This interpretive descriptive study was conducted to look at the perceptions of internationally educated nurses regarding career advancement and educational opportunities in Alberta, Canada. Eleven internationally educated nurses, working as registered nurses in Alberta, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Five themes were identified: motherhood as a priority, communication and cultural challenges, process of skill recognition, perceptions of opportunity and need for mentorship.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • Career Mobility*
  • Communication
  • Cultural Competency
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Mentors
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / supply & distribution*
  • Personnel Selection
  • Qualitative Research
  • Tape Recording