Document Type

Honors Thesis


Nursing is the largest healthcare profession around the world. Nurses frequently are educated in one country, and then migrate to the United States where they practice nursing in the U.S healthcare system. In addition to language, other differences are also noted in educational preparation, clinical experiences, and the healthcare system where these nurses begin practicing. All of these factors may affect a nurses’ ability to adapt to his or her new role in the workplace. I have met several Nigerian staff nurses while in my clinical setting as a University of Texas at Arlington Nursing student. Many of the staff nurses were born in Nigeria and later migrated to the United States to complete their nursing education. Others completed their education in Nigeria, and worked in the healthcare system in Nigeria prior to their immigration. While talking with them, I learned about differences between Nigerian nursing and American nursing as well as difficulties they experienced during their transition to the healthcare system in the United States. During these conversations, several questions occurred to me regarding the differences in Nigerian and American nursing practices: 1) What barriers did you encounter? 2) Were there areas in which you felt you were prepared to provide better, safe, and quality patient care or did you feel unprepared? 3) What cultural differences did you encounter in the nursing culture? For this study, interviews of Nigerian nurses were conducted by telephone. Notes were written while conducting the interviews. Notes from the interviews were then analyzed for saturation of emerging themes. Upon completion of analysis, five major themes were identified: 1) Lack of technological background; 2) Nigerian accent interfering with communication(which causes difficulty fitting in); 3) The Nigerian focus is on tasks that need to be performed as a nurse, and in the United States the focus is on the whole person, which encompasses tasks, as well as family and religious support services; 4) Nurses in Nigeria are highly respected; 5) Nigerian nurses need help when they migrate in order to learn “medical” English.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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