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Int Nurs Rev. 2019 Jun;66(2):183-190. doi: 10.1111/inr.12511. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Migration of Latin American nurses to Spain 2006-2016: a case study.

Author information

1
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Department of Nursing, Universidad de Murcia, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain.
3
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

AIM:

To examine the migration of nurses from Latin America to Spain over the period from 2006 to 2016.

BACKGROUND:

This study examines the impact of the 2008 global economic crisis on migration flows of nurses to Spain from its major source countries of Latin America.

METHODS:

Using an exploratory case study, we present original data provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of the Government of Spain upon request on applications and success rates for credential recognition of nurses intending to immigrate to Spain, with an extended analysis of Latin American applications which account for the 70% of skilled worker migration to Spain.

RESULTS:

Successful applications for credential recognition of overseas nursing qualifications plummeted from a peak of 1384 in 2007 to 55 in 2016. Migration intentionality also decreased but has undergone a slight increase in recent years.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION:

We found that the economic crisis effectively closed the door to internationally educated nurses to work as nurses in Spain. Moreover, the denial of official recognition of nursing credentials appears to be unaffected by the existence of bilateral trade and mobility agreements between Spain and source countries. We conclude that the level of nursing migration to Spain is a sensitive indicator of domestic labour market conditions.

IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH POLICY:

Despite the lack of any transparent policy on the credential approvals, in practice the government is limiting access to the nursing labour market by overseas education nurses. We urge that attention be paid by health human resource planners on the intersection between labour market and migration trends to support a transparent and data-informed discussion by all stakeholders on the current state of the nursing labour market in Spain and its future needs.

KEYWORDS:

Case Study; International Nurses; Latin America; Migrant Nurses; Migration; Nursing; Spain

PMID:
30989654
DOI:
10.1111/inr.12511

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