An Integrative Review of the Role of Remittances in International Nurse Migration

Allison Squires, Anglea Amico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review seeks to understand the role of remittances in international nurse migration within the context of three theories of international migration: equilibrium approaches, social networks, and globalization. To analyze the phenomenon, an integrative review of the literature was conducted. Search terms sought articles discussing, either directly or indirectly, remittances and international nurse migration. The initial search returned 369 articles, and further screening decreased the total to 65. Full text screening reduced the final number for the analysis to 48. A directed content analysis structured the analytic approach by examining how authors discussed remittances in the content and context of the paper. The final analysis showed the majority of papers were policy analyses (five); opinion papers, reviews, or editori-als that indirectly discussed remittances (27); or were qualitative and quantitative studies (16), either with primary data collection (14) or secondary data analyses (two). Overall, a nurse's individual motivation for sending remittances home stemmed from familial factors but was never a primary driver of migration. Domestic labor market factors were more likely to drive nurses to migrate. The nurse's country of origin also was a factor in the remittance dynamic. The identity of the author of the paper played a role in how they discussed remittances in the context of international nurse migration. The three theories of migration helped explain vari-ous aspects of the role of remittances in international nursing migration. While the phenom-enon has changed since the 2008 global economic crisis and the passing of the World Health Organization's Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel in 2010, future research around the role of remittances needs to consider the confluence of gender, social, political, labor market, and economic dynamics, and not just view the phenomenon from an individual lens.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalNursing: Research & Reviews
StatePublished - 2014


  • health care worker
  • nursing
  • remittance
  • Migration
  • Nurse migration


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