What are Chinese nurses’ experiences whilst working overseas? A narrative scoping review

Yaping Zhong, Lisa McKenna, Beverley Copnell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background Transnational nurse migration has become an apparent attribute of the global nurse shortage and it is foreseeable that China will play an increasingly significant role in nurse exports. These nurses have unique cultural and professional needs throughout their journey of migration and in-depth analysis of Chinese migrant nurses’ experiences is urgently required to manage and empower an ethnically diverse workforce. Objective To synthesise Chinese migrant nurses’ experiences by examining the findings of existing studies. Design Scoping review methods incorporating narrative synthesis were conducted. Method Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage scoping review framework was utilised to identify Chinese migrant nurses’ experiences. 13 databases were searched, and 5009 articles were retrieved. After screening the titles and abstracts, 169 articles were assessed in full text for eligibility, and finally 22 articles plus 2 manually included ones, representing 19 discrete studies, were further analysed and synthesised with a three-step narrative synthesis. Results 13 qualitative studies, 5 quantitative studies and 1 mixed- methods study met inclusion criteria. Two main themes were identified. “Contexts and migration” comprised three subthemes: perceptions of nursing, original culture and nursing differences. “The self and migration” included four subthemes: initiating, transition, reality and future. Conclusion This scoping review revealed the literature on Chinese migrant nurses and provided insight into their stories and circumstances. There were external factors which affected Chinese nurses’ interpretations and choices. Throughout their migration journeys, they encountered various challenges and also successes. They responded with positive or negative behavioural and psychosocial changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Chinese nurse
  • Emigrants and immigrants
  • Experience
  • Immigrant nurses
  • Scoping review

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