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Going Global? The Regulation of Nurse Migration in the UK


  • Stephen Bach


This article examines the growth of overseas nurse recruitment to the UK and reviews a number of explanations used by migration specialists to explain these developments. It is argued that these approaches provide an incomplete explanation and that an industrial relations perspective enables an integrated understanding of nurse mobility. By highlighting the role of the state in source and destination countries and by placing labour market institutions centre stage, a more adequate account of nurse migration to the UK is developed. Trends in mobility indicate that state policy and employer behaviour have resulted in the internationalization rather than the globalization of the nursing labour market. This facilitates state action to regulate nurse migration, although the results to date using forms of soft regulation have been modest. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Bach, 2007. "Going Global? The Regulation of Nurse Migration in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 383-403, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:2:p:383-403

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, Phillip & Green, Andy & Lauder, Hugh, 2001. "High Skills: Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244201, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Al Ariss, Akram & Guo, Grace Chun, 2016. "Job allocations as cultural sorting in a culturally diverse organizational context," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 579-588.
    2. Michel Grignon & Yaw Owusu & Arthur Sweetman, 2013. "The international migration of health professionals," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 4, pages 75-97 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:485561 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jansson, Olle, 2017. "Organized interests and foreign-educated professionals: The case of the associations for physicians and nurses in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2017:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:486092 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Frenzel, Helen. & Weber, Tina., 2014. "Circular migration of health-care professionals : what do employers in Europe think of it?," ILO Working Papers 994860923402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. Wickramasekara, Piyasiri., 2014. "Assessment of the impact of migration of health professionals on the labour market and health sector performance in destination countries," ILO Working Papers 994855613402676, International Labour Organization.
    8. Prescott, Megan & Nichter, Mark, 2014. "Transnational nurse migration: Future directions for medical anthropological research," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 113-123.
    9. Young, Ruth, 2013. "How effective is an ethical international recruitment policy? Reflections on a decade of experience in England," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 184-192.
    10. Chris Forde & Robert MacKenzie, 2010. "The Ethical Agendas of Employment Agencies Towards Migrant Workers in the UK: Deciphering the Codes," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 31-41, December.
    11. Linda McDowell & Adina Batnitzky & Sarah Dyer, 2008. "Internationalization and the Spaces of Temporary Labour: The Global Assembly of a Local Workforce," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 750-770, December.

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