Organizational socialization of international nurses in the New York metropolitan area

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Background: The global migration of nurses has been ongoing in an effort to alleviate the worldwide nursing shortage. Although international nurses have unique needs in adapting to a new host culture and workplace, little is known about the process of organizational socialization faced by different groups of international nurses, such as child immigrant registered nurses (RNs), adult immigrant RNs, and foreign-educated RNs, compared with native nurses. Objectives: This study examined international nurses' perceptions of their organizational socialization and its association with intent to leave in both the international and the American nurses. Methods: Data from a hospital RN survey was used for secondary data analysis, with the final dataset consisting of 752 RNs. Organizational socialization was measured to assess the quality of the orientation programme and support from supervisors and peers. Nurse retention was measured by nurses' intent to leave within 3 years. Findings: The level of organizational socialization of foreign-educated RNs was higher than that of any of other nurse groups. Lower proportions of foreign-educated RNs and adult immigrant RNs had plans to leave within 3 years compared with American RNs and child immigrant RNs. Good supervisor and peer support were negatively associated with nurses' intent to leave (i.e. these nurses were less likely to leave within 3 years). Conclusions: This study found that the orientation programme and support from peers and supervisors played an important role in the international nurse's organizational socialization process. This process should be the subject of continued research to provide frontline nurse managers with practical information addressing the challenges of international nurses' organizational socialization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Adult and child immigration
  • Foreign-educated RNs
  • Immigrant RNs
  • Intent to leave
  • International nurses
  • Nursing shortages
  • Organizational socialization


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