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Nurs Outlook. 2014 Jan-Feb;62(1):53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Waiting and watching: Nurse migration trends before a change to the National Council Licensure Examination as entry to practice for Canada's nurses.

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Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:
School of Nursing, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.
School of Nursing, College of Social Sciences, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA.
Division of Health Care Environments, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, NC.
Department of Health Policy and Management, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.



A number of factors in the health care environment, including a change in regulatory policy, may affect a country's nursing workforce and nurse migration and mobility.


This study compared the characteristics of Canadian-educated nurses who had migrated to the United States to work with their colleagues in the United States and Canada in anticipation of a change in Canada's RN entry to practice requirements in 2015.


We conducted a retrospective comparative study of nurses in Canada and the U.S. using 2008 data from the US National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and the Canadian Institute of Health Information.


There was little change in the number of Canadian-educated nurses working in the United States in 2008 compared with 2004. We found differences between U.S. nurses and Canadian-educated nurses working in the United States in educational level, work status, work location, and age. No differences were found between Canadian-educated nurses working in the United States and those working in Canada.


This research highlights the value of international comparisons of the nursing workforce, especially in the context of anticipated regulatory changes, which may affect a country's nursing health human resources.


National Council Licensure Examination; Nurse migration; Nurse mobility; Regulation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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