Facilitators and Barriers to Advancing in the Nursing Profession: Voices of U.S.- and Internationally Educated Nurses

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Background:Career advancement programs recognize nurses in the clinical area. Despite the advantages, not all nurses participate in the process.Purpose:To identify factors that influence career advancement among internationally educated nurses (IENs) and those educated in the United States (UENs).Methods:IENs and UENs participated in an online survey, which consisted of 2 open-ended questions asking them to discuss opportunities and barriers that have influenced participation in career advancement. Responses were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative content analysis.Results:Healthy work environment, commitment to advancement in the profession by the individual nurse and availability of external support by family, organization, and/or mentors positively influenced career advancement. Barrier themes were poor work environment, complacency, and competing priorities. Nurses identified limited opportunities to advance in areas of interest as a reason for less participation.Conclusion:Organizational leadership plays an important role in creating environments where nurses can advance their careers.

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