Study: Many Canadian-educated RNs prefer to work in U.S.

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Canada, like much of the rest of the world, is already facing a nursing shortage. But instead of staying, recently graduated baccalaureate-level registered nurses (RNs) are leaving to work in the United States, according to a new report from the University of Toronto.

These nurses not only are finding full-time employment in American facilities, but they've discovered more formal support for continued education, according to the report. In fact, a greater proportion of Canadian nurses working in the U.S. hold graduate degrees than do nurses in Canada, report authors say. What's more, a greater proportion of Canadian nurses in the U.S. are employed full-time than are American nurses. The proximity of Canada to the U.S. and the countries' similar language and culture also help influence nurses' decision to move south, the report authors suggest.

Discovering the reason behind the emigration is important for Canada, study authors say. By developing strategies to keep their nurses, Canada can halt a potentially preventable aspect of the worsening of the nursing shortage. For their study, researchers looked at data from the USA National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and reports from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The report was published Wednesday in the online version of the International Nursing Review.
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