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Internationally educated nurses' and medical graduates' experiences of getting a license and practicing in Sweden - a qualitative interview study
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6869-6863
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9912-5350
2018 (English)In: BMC Medical Education, ISSN 1472-6920, E-ISSN 1472-6920, Vol. 18, no 1, article id 296Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The Swedish healthcare system has an increased need for nurses and physicians, and the number of International Educated Nurses (IENs) and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking job opportunities and a license to practice in Sweden is rising. This study explored how IENs and IMGs describe their experience of getting a license to practice, their perceptions of working in Sweden and of how their intercultural competence is utilized.

METHOD: A qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with 11 IENs and 11 IMGs. The interviews were conducted between 2015 and 2017. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Three main themes were identified: 'Getting a license - a different story,' 'The work is familiar, yet a lot is new,' 'Trying to master a new language.' The time to obtain a license to practice and finding a job was shorter for IENs and IMGs coming from European countries than for those from non-European countries. Some of the experiences of getting a license to practice and of entering a new workplace in another country were the same for nurses and physicians. In general, both IENs and IMGs felt welcomed and used their intercultural competence at work. Lack of language skills was regarded as the main problem for both professions, while workplace introduction was shorter for IMGs than for IENs.

CONCLUSIONS: Problems related to language and culture are often underestimated, therefore organizations and managers employing IENs and IMGs should provide longer workplace introduction to facilitate the acculturation process. More time-efficient language courses specifically adapted to IENs and IMGs could make the transition easier and shorten the time to obtain a license to practice for both professions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 18, no 1, article id 296
Keywords [en]
IEN, IMG, Intercultural competence, License, Work experience
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28787DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1399-4ISI: 000452276600002PubMedID: 30518350Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85058542208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-28787DiVA, id: diva2:1269359
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, ElisabetEngström, Maria

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