Advocating to Protect Our Nurses: Addressing Unethical Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses

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Abstract

Advocacy in the nursing sector is often about advocating for patients. However, nurses have begun to put more effort into protecting their rights as workers. Advocacy on behalf of foreign-educated nurses has been a critical component of this advocacy. While foreign-educated nurses can make our nursing workforce stronger, this can only happen if they are well-treated and well-trained. Organizations across diverse missions and perspectives have come together to promote fair treatment of foreign-educated nurses, which ultimately ensures that all nurses are working as effectively as possible and that patients receive proper care. The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices’ Health Care Code for Ethical Recruitment and Employment Practices represents a bottom-up agreement on which market practices constitute ethical recruitment. From a top-down level, the World Health Organization's Code of Global Practice establishes obligations and reporting requirements for member states that commit to ensuring ethical recruitment. This combination of efforts, bolstered by strong advocacy, is gaining traction as nursing migration grows at the global level. The collaboration across diverse stakeholder groups and the combination of legal, voluntary, and global efforts to promote the rights of foreign-educated nurses provides a model to apply for advocacy in different areas.

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