Intersection of migration and turnover theories-What can we learn?

Carol S. Brewer, Christine T. Kovner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The international migration of nurses has become a major issue in the international health and workforce policy circles, but analyses are not based on a comprehensive theory. Purpose: The purpose of this article was to compare the concepts of an integrated nursing turnover theory with the concepts of one international migration framework. Methods: An integrated turnover theory is compared with a frequently used migration framework using examples of each. Discussion: Migration concepts relate well to turnover concepts, but the relative importance and strength of various concepts may differ. For example, identification, development, and measurement of the concept of national commitment, if it exists, is parallel to organizational commitment and may be fruitful in understanding the processes that lead to nurse migration. Conclusions: The turnover theory provides a framework for examining migration concepts and considering how these concepts could relate to each other in a future theory of migration. Ultimately, a better understanding of the relationships and strengths of these concepts could lead to more effective policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Migration
  • Nursing workforce
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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