The perspectives of internationally qualified nurses regarding their specialty skill transition to Australia: A cross-sectional survey


Aim: To identify barriers and facilitators of speciality skill transfer for internationally qualified nurses in Australia from the nurses' perspective.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed through social media, snowballing and nursing professional organization. Data analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.

Data Sources: Online survey data from participants matching the inclusion criteria were collected from July to September 2022.

Results: Survey results reveal facilitators (competence, scope of practice, linguistic sufficiency, understanding of decision-making) and barriers (lack of opportunity, transition pathways, confidence in overseas education, financial instability) for internationally qualified nurses' speciality skill utilization in Australia.

Conclusion: Identifying and addressing barriers and facilitators, along with developing tailored transition pathways, are crucial for maximizing speciality skill utilization among internationally qualified nurses. These findings have implications for policymakers, healthcare organizations and nurses. They highlight the need to address barriers, facilitate smooth transitions and implement proactive measures for internationally qualified nurses to effectively utilize their specialty skills.

Impact: The study addresses maximizing skill usage for internationally qualified nurses, identifies barriers and facilitators for specialty skill transfer in Australia and will impact policymakers, healthcare organizations and nurses by guiding strategies for safe nursing service delivery and optimizing patient care.

Reporting Method: STROBE checklist.

Patient or Public Contribution: A total of 71 internationally qualified nurses contributed their experiences and opinions.

What Does this Paper Contribute to the Wider Global Clinical Community?: Lack of opportunity and the lack of transition pathways inhibit the use of specialty nursing skills by internationally qualified nurses. This study's findings contradict the result of other studies that suggest language is a significant obstacle to the utilization of specialty skills of internationally qualified nurses.

Trial and Protocol Registration: The protocol is registered on OSF. The data for this study are available for sharing with the reviewers upon request. However, it is worth noting that ethical approval has not been obtained specifically for web sharing, and therefore, the data has not been posted in any repositories or public platforms.


nurse specialty, nursing expertise, nursing practice, nursing skill, nursing workforce, public policy

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