Experiences of Nigerian Internationally Educated Nurses Transitioning to United States Health Care Settings

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Abstract

Introduction: Successful transition to practice of internationally educated nurses (IENs) can critically affect quality of care. The aim of this study was to characterize the facilitators and barriers to transition of Nigerian IENs (NIENs) to the United States health care setting. Method: Using a descriptive phenomenology approach, 6 NIENs were interviewed about their transitional experiences in the United States. Thematic methods were used for data analysis. Results: The three major themes identified from the participants’ stories were “fear/anger and disappointment” (FAD), “road/journey to success/overcoming challenges” (RJO), and “moving forward” (MF). The FAD theme predominated, including experiences of racism, bullying, and inequality. The RJO theme included resilience, and the MF theme encompassed personal growth. Discussion: NIENs face personal and organizational barriers to adaptation, especially fear, anger and disappointment. Future research should seek to develop a model for optimal adaptation that focuses on improving both personal and organizational facilitators and decreasing barriers.

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