Professional Adaptation Experiences of Chinese Migrant Nurses in Australia: A Qualitative Study

Yaping Zhong (Leading Author), Lisa McKenna, Beverley Copnell, Wenjuan Zhao, Cheryle Moss

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Chinese-educated nurses are increasingly important to the international labor market. This study aimed to examine how Chinese migrant nurses adapt and evolve professionally while pursuing nursing careers in Australia, using a qualitative descriptive approach. A total of 17 Chinese-educated nurses were recruited by purposive and snowball sampling in Australia during 2017. Data were collected by individual semi-structured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. Three central themes and eight subthemes were generated. Perceived differences in nursing involved: work options and flexibility, professional autonomy and independence, and freedom of expressing professional opinions. Elements comprising challenges to adaptation included communication barriers, nursing workload and responsibilities, and collegial relationships. Participants’ professional transition journeys were accompanied by two key areas of self-evolution: Embracing the authentic self and embracing individual differences. Our findings have important implications for migrant-host nursing workforce integration in Australia and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-633
Number of pages8
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • experiences
  • international
  • nurses
  • qualitative research
  • transition

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