“The Dream Trap” is required reading for Nepali nurses thinking of going to the UK

I usually share information about the process of getting a nurse’s license in USA, and I don’t pretend to know about the UK system. The other day somebody shared a link with me that brings you to a paper written by a Nepali nurse in UK who has done research on this subject. Her name is Radha Adhikari. She has done some other writing about nursing in Nepal as well.

it’s titled “The “dream-trap”: Brokering, “study abroad” and nurse. It’s excellent. It’s  a bit long, and the best parts are near the end, but if you are serious about the UK, it’s very worthwhile. It  goes into the history of nursing in Nepal, and especially the history of nurses who go abroad. Then it covers the whole idea of working with consultancies. And it is very honest about the problems that nurses face once they get to UK.

Ms. Adhikari did her PhD work on this subject. Here is the abstract for her doctoral dissertation:

The migration of nurses is stimulating international debate around globalisation, ethics, and the effects on health systems. This thesis examines this phenomenon through nurses trained in Nepal who migrate to the UK. Since 2000, increasing numbers of Nepali nurses have started crossing national borders to participate in the global healthcare market, particularly in the affluent west. By using qualitative multisited research and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in both Nepal and the UK, this thesis explores why nurses aspire to migrate, how they fulfil these aspirations, and their experience of living and working in the UK. The thesis begins by examining the historical development of nurse training in Nepal, particularly from the mid 1950s. This period saw profound socio-political transformations, including in the position of women in Nepali society and in the perception of nursing in Nepal. Previously, many families were very reluctant to send their daughters into nursing. By the late 1990s, middle-class women and their families were increasingly attracted to nursing, both as a vocation and as a means to migrate. The thesis explores the rise of private training colleges to meet the increased demand for nurse training, and the new businesses that have grown up around the profession to facilitate nurse recruitment and migration. Around one thousand nurses have migrated to the UK since 2000, and the second part of the thesis presents their experiences of the migration process and of working and settling in the UK. Nurses have faced complex bureaucratic and professional hurdles, particularly after UK nurse registration and work-permit policies changed in 2006. The thesis also highlights how highly qualified nurses with many years of work experience in Nepal have become increasingly deskilled in UK. Frequently sent to rural nursing-homes by recruiting agencies, they create and join new diasporic support networks. Further, many have left their loved ones behind, and experience homesickness and the pain of family separation. Often, they plan for their husbands and children to join them after several years, and the research explores this and the issues faced by their families, as they relocate and adapt to life in the UK. Finally, the thesis makes some important policy recommendations. For Nepal, these relate to greater regulation of nurse training and the brokering of nurses abroad. In the UK, they relate to increasing the flexibility of registration and visa regulations to assist in supporting Nepali nurses’ work choices, and to value and utilise their professional skills in the UK better. to find the entire PhD work, go to: https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/6199  

This has been in print for awhile, obviously but I only just found it. Dr Adhikari’s email is in the profile linked above.




About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

These blogs, and my books, and videos are written on the principle that any person embarking on something similar to what I do will gain more preparation than I first had, by reading them. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add to it fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011.
This entry was posted in medical volunteer in Nepal, nursing education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “The Dream Trap” is required reading for Nepali nurses thinking of going to the UK

  1. Fascinating. Very readable and interesting.

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