Beyond greener pastures: exploring contexts surrounding Filipino nurse migration in Canada through oral history

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The history of immigrant Filipino nurses in Canada has received little attention, yet Canada is a major receiving country of a growing number of Filipino migrants and incorporates Filipino immigrant nurses into its healthcare workforce at a steady rate. This study aims to look beyond the traditional economic and policy analysis perspectives of global migration and beyond the push and pull factors commonly discussed in the migration literature. Through oral history, this study explores biographical histories of nine Filipino immigrant nurses currently working in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Narratives reveal the instrumental role of the deeply embedded culture of migration in the Philippines in influencing Filipino nurses to migrate. Additionally, the stories illustrate the weight of cultural pressures and societal constructs these nurses faced that first colored their decision to pursue a career in nursing and ultimately to pursue emigration. Oral history is a powerful tool for examining migration history and sheds light on nuances of experience that might otherwise be neglected. This study explores the complex connections between various factors motivating Filipino nurse migration, the decision-making process, and other pre-migration experiences.

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