Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Andrea Baumann PhD, RN




Background. The nursing profession has a long tradition of migration. The migration of nurses from Canada has received little attention.

Objective. The purpose of this sandwich thesis was to understand the migration intentions of nurse graduates in a Canadian border city, their intention to become commuter migrants, and to explore the factors influencing these intentions.

Methods. Two qualitative studies of the migration literature included an analysis of the concept of migration and an integrative review of case study methodology in the study of nurse migration. A mixed methods study, guided by the Value-Expectancy framework, explored the migration intentions of nurse graduates in a Canadian border city and the factors influencing these intentions.

Results. The concept of nurse migration was found to be multifaceted. Its attributes, antecedents and consequences were defined. The mixed methods study provided insights into the migration intentions of recently graduated Canadian nurses. The majority preferred to work in Canada, but because of a perceived absence of valued jobs factors, were willing to migrate. Two thirds considered migrating and sixteen percent were interested in becoming commuter migrants. The findings supported the hypothesis that nurses weigh employment values (goals) against the expectation of achieving them, thus influencing intentions to migrate or stay.

Conclusion. The value-expectancy framework offered a novel approach for identifying the job factors that were driving migration intentions. There is a need for more primary research employing different methodologies to explore the characteristics, causes, and consequences of nurse migration that were identified through this research.

McMaster University Library