A clash of cultures : a model for supporting adaptation nurses

Walker, Linda Elizabeth (2010). A clash of cultures : a model for supporting adaptation nurses. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000d4de


Non-European Union nurses (overseas nurses), have filled nursing positions in the UK for some time in order to cover short-term staffing problems. It is essential that these overseas nurses are supported during the period of time they are assimilated into their new organisation and cultural environment. This is achieved through undergoing a period of supervision and education called an adaptation programme. These programmes prepare such nurses for working in hospitals in the UK ensuring a level of knowledge and skill equal to or greater than, a newly UK registered staff nurse.

Research was undertaken as a single case study, in one Hospital Trust in England. The data was collected via individual and group interviews. Nurses from retrospective and prospective adaptation groups gave qualitative accounts of their experiences of the adaptation programme and their experiences of working in the UK as registered nurses.

The findings of the research indicate that the experience of overseas nurses working in the UK completing their adaptation programme was often a challenge both for themselves and for their UK colleagues. The difficulties experienced by the nurses were categorised into six main themes. From these themes a model was developed which captures the findings of the research. It is argued that the model will be of benefit to any host organisation whatever the employment context, when developing programmes of support for overseas staff. Finally, suggestions for further research are briefly outlined.

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