An exploration into the professional and personal challenges facing migrant and overseas generalist Registered Nurses working and living in two small island communities

  • Tracey Mcclean

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Health (DHealth)


Introduction: The recruitment and retention of Registered Nurses (RNs) in Guernsey and Alderney has been a continual challenge over the years. Whilst measures have been put in place to address the problem, these solutions have had little sustained impact on the problem. The current vacancy rate is double that being experienced by National Health Service (NHS) Trusts outside of the London area. This study proposed to explore the recruitment and retention problem in a more holistic way by capturing the experiences of RNs who are working within the Islands.Study aim: To explore the professional and personal challenges facing generalist RNs working and living in two small island communities.Methodology: An experience-centred narrative research methodology was used to explore the experiences of 20 newly appointed RNs and 15 long-serving RNs. The data consisted of 35 ‘stories’ which were captured through the use of semi-structured interviews, written accounts and visual media. The data was analysed using a critical hermeneutic approach.Results: Sixteen themes were identified and aligned with the conceptual framework underpinning the study. The stories of the participants were used to develop a model to demonstrate the acculturation process they were experiencing. Conclusions: It was recognised that all new recruits undergo a process of acculturation when they take up employment in the Islands. The study demonstrated that the process of acculturation was a continual journey and that the longer-serving participants were also undergoing a process of adjustment to the on-going cultural changes taking place in the organisation. The research highlighted that this acculturation process was influenced by multiple inter-connected factors which contributed to the challenges perceived by the participants. Whilst these factors had some commonality with those identified in the literature, the specific nature of the issues raised by the participants in this study were context dependent.
Date of Award22 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAlan Buckingham (Supervisor)

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