Retaining Migrant Nurses in Ireland. Nurse Migration Project Policy Brief 2

Active overseas recruitment efforts have attracted large numbers of migrant nurses into the Irish health system. However, it will be Ireland’s ability to retain these nurses that will determine the long-term effectiveness of this workforce strategy. This is a key consideration both for individual employers and at national policy level, given the extent of Ireland’s reliance upon migrant nurses. There is recognition internationally that poor support structures in the host country may encourage migrant nurses to seek employment elsewhere. The challenge to retain these nurses takes place, as their recruitment did, in the context of intense global competition for nurses, which Kingma has called ‘the international war for skills’. This policy brief, which presents early findings on migrant nurse retention in Ireland, cautions against the assumption that migrant nurses are all ‘here to stay’. The findings point to the need to engage with them to better understand the dynamics of their migration and to identify the factors that might determine whether they stay or leave Ireland.