Career Choice for Indonesian Nurses after Placement Abroad

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Illustration by klik health

Regarding international nursing migration, Indonesia has become an exporter of nurses to developed countries. The United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia have been among the recipients since the first migration in 1996. The active recruitment of Indonesian nurses abroad was dominated by private recruiters followed by the government. Regulations on international nurse migration based on bilateral agreements have developed through a government scheme that began with Japan and followed by East Timor.

Generalization of widely publicized research on migration issue is facing a problem, not only in the Indonesian context but also on a global scale. Reverse migration is often discussed as a new strategy for getting brain gain. However, preliminary evidence suggests it can also cause brain waste. The conducted research failed to gain insight into nurses returning to work at the postmigration stage. There is a need to understand the various circumstances among nurses returning under the labor migration scheme. We, therefore, attempt to overcome these problems by conducting research to analyze Indonesian nurses after placement of work abroad on their current employment choices.

Our research used a descriptive research design to describe the current work of nurses returning to Indonesia. The survey involved Indonesian nurses returning from overseas to track their latest work.

The career situation of nurses returning to Indonesia varies in the post-migration stage. This study provides a profile of the career choices of Indonesian nurses after they return from overseas. Generally nurses return to work as independent workers when they return to the labor market, while the rest work as private employees, Japanese translators, employees of Indonesian State-Owned Enterprises, hotel staff, insurance agents, and teachers. Nurses who choose not to return to work in nursing have reasons of poor working conditions, poor salary, lack of confidence in their nursing skills, unclear career paths or stalled career development, difficulties in finding nursing work, working in shifts, unrecognized work experience in Japan, ignored by officials, disrespected and troubled with registration papers.

On the other hand, the majority of those who live in the field of nursing based on their work arrangement now work in private hospitals. Nurses who remain in nursing work say that they are interested in nursing, have a desire to help others, hope to transfer skills and knowledge, aligned with their educational background, have opportunities to open independent nursing practices, have opportunities to develop nursing specialties (especially in elderly care), have the opportunity to develop long-term care services, and have a proud and noble work. Findings from this study indicate that the majority work in a variety of circumstances, including hospitals, clinics, and communities. Most of them work in private hospitals, followed by general public hospitals, company clinics, and community health centers.

The results of this study gave new understanding and knowledge of nurses returning from migration that has not been explored. Nurse career situation after placement abroad is between returning to work in the nursing and non-nursing fields. However, the phenomenon of brain waste is proven among nurses because more have worked outside nursing. This research observes that brain waste exists during the post-migration stage. To get the maximum benefit from bilateral migration of nursing workforce, Indonesia must manage migration of professional nurses by increasing matching skills and recognition skills. At the same time, to maximize the potential positive results of returning migration, this problem must be addressed with the partner countries through bilateral meetings.

Author: Ferry Efendi, S.Kep., Ns., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Details of this research available at: Ferry Efendi, Nursalam, Elida Ulfiana, Rista Fauziningtyas. 2019. ‘Situational Analysis of Career Choices among Indonesian Nurses Returnees’. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development.

doi: 10.5958/0976-5506.2019.00305.X

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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