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Portuguese nurses in the UK
Ana Teresa Albuquerque's master's thesis in medical-surgical nursing, presented to the Porto School of Nursing in 2016, on the transition process in Portuguese nurses who emigrated to the United Kingdom, under the supervision of Célia Samarina Santos.

Title  The transition process for Portuguese nurses emigrating to the UK
Author  Ana Teresa Albuquerque
Advisor  Célia Samarina Santos
Year  2016
Institution  Porto School of Nursing
Degree  Masters
Area  Medical-surgical nursing
Keywords  Emigração, enfermeiros.



Although Portugal has always been a country of emigrants, this phenomenon has now reached unprecedented proportions and also has different characteristics from previous cycles. Motivated by various factors, there has been a mass outflow of highly qualified people, particularly nurses. The United Kingdom has emerged as the country of destination most chosen by this professional group and data from the Emigration Observatory reveals that, in 2014 alone, 3,155 Portuguese nurses were registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the counterpart of the Order of Nurses in the United Kingdom. Most of these professionals are going through an unprecedented experience, emigration, with consequent varied and complex changes in their lives that can generate instability and vulnerability. This qualitative, exploratory and descriptive cross-sectional study aimed to: get to know this group of Portuguese nurses, understand why they emigrated, understand how they are responding to this transition process, what factors facilitate and hinder this process, what strategies they adopt to manage adverse situations and what the implications of this experience are for their self-care, health and well-being. This study is particularly important in that it could make a long-term contribution towards implementing strategies that can effectively help these people and promote their health and well-being. A semi-structured interview was used to listen to a group of eleven nurses who had emigrated to the UK, in the light of Meleis' Transitions Theory. The sample was young, mostly female, single, childless and with little professional experience. The results show that the transition is gradual and lengthy, occurring at the same time as other situational and developmental transitions. Only one of the individuals studied was in the final stage of the process, i.e. the mastery stage, which involves mastering the situation and achieving balance and well-being. The others were still experiencing the migration transition. The main reasons that led this group of Portuguese nurses to emigrate were unemployment and the impossibility of advancing their careers in Portugal, as well as the search for better living conditions. Knowledge of the English language and the country of destination, job stability, improved economic conditions and support from Portuguese nurses already in the UK proved to be key factors for a healthy transition. On the other hand, the distance from their families, the differences in nursing practice and the fact that they had been the target of discriminatory behavior on the part of the British played a role in hindering the process.


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