186506 Intent to migrate among nursing students in Uganda: Measures of the brain drain in the next generation of health professionals

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:30 AM

Lisa Thu Nguyen , School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Amy Hagopian, PhD , School of Public Health, Dept of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Steven Ropers , School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Esther Nderitu , Department of Nursing, Aga Khan University School of Nursing, Kampala, Uganda
Anneke Zuyderduin , Department of Nursing, Aga Khan University School of Nursing, Kampala, Uganda
Sam Luboga, MD , Department of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
There is significant concern about the worldwide migration of nursing professionals from low-income countries to rich ones, as nurses are lured to fill the large number of vacancies in upper-income countries. This study explores the views of nursing students in Uganda to assess their perceptions on practice options and their intentions to migrate. Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to nursing students at Makerere Nursing School and Aga Khan University Nursing School in Kampala, Uganda, during July 2006, using convenience sampling methods, with 139 participants. Two focus groups were also conducted at one university. Most (70%) of the participants would like to work outside Uganda, stating it was likely that within five years they would be working in the U.S.A. (59%) or the U.K. (49%). About a fourth (27%) preferred working in another African country. Only eight percent of all students reported an unlikelihood to migrate within five years of training completion. Survey respondents were more dissatisfied with financial remuneration than any other factor pushing them towards emigration. Those wanting to work in the settings of urban, private, or U.K./ U.S. practices were less likely to express a sense of professional obligation and/or loyalty to country. Those who have lived in rural areas were less likely to report wanting to emigrate. Students with a desire to work in urban areas or private practice were more likely to report an intent to emigrate for financial reasons or in pursuit of country stability, while students wanting to work in rural areas or public practice were less likely to want to emigrate overall. Improving remuneration for nurses is the top priority policy change sought by nursing students in our study. Nursing schools may want to recruit students desiring work in rural areas or public practice to lead to a more stable workforce in Uganda.

Learning Objectives:
1) Frame the elements of the push and pull factors affecting emigration decisions by employing a survey technique with quantitative analysis 2) Identify nursing students' intentions and perceptions of migration and practice options while they are still in training 3) Describe personal characteristics that differ between students who wish to emigrate and those who do not 4) Articulate new strategies to help stem the brain drain of nurses from low income countries to rich ones

Keywords: Public Health Policy, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and conducted a research project in Kampala, Uganda and wrote a paper on this topic, which has recently been published in Human Resources for Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.