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Perspectives of Nurses in European Countries


A report on the work of Nurses in European Countries trained on domestic markets and those migrating to the “old Europe” countries. The report presents Registered Nurse Forecasting research, which aimed to show if there is a difference in the responsibilities and tasks assigned to Nurses in European Countries working in the country of origin and those who migrated from a developing country.

The basis was the reports of nurses from the last duty, based on which the number of activities below the qualifications and knowledge of nursing performed for the patient was compared.


The optimization of nursing completion and their scope of responsibilities in institutions that employ nurses from other countries is particularly important because the employment of internationally trained nurses may indicate a lack of sufficient staff in the country.

However, the report showed that migrant nurses sometimes experienced discrimination understood as lower pay, fewer promotions, and sub-qualifying jobs (e.g. as nursing assistance).

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These employer practices negatively affected the well-being of nurses. Other studies suggest that nurses educated abroad strive to meet professional nursing standards adopted in the country where they are currently employed. (Flynn & Aiken, 2002). And they showed that the time and energy use of Nurses in European Countries often are not optimized.

Nurses in European Countries

Nurses from the US, Germany, and Canada, when asked about their last duty, consistently reported a large percentage of non-nurse activities performed for the patient. Min. All forms of patient transport, delivery and collection of meal trays, and housekeeping (cleaning).

At the same time, they reported necessary nursing activities that they could not perform due to lack of time. It was calculated that activities that the nurses considered a waste of time (e.g. waiting) consumed 6.6% of their time for every 10 hours of work (Hendrich). Nurses in European Countries spent another 9.0% of their time performing non-nursing activities such as changing bed sheets, organizing rooms, completing cards and forms, answering phone calls, looking for people (Desjardins, 2008).

Registered Nurse Forecasting (RN4CAST)

Registered Nurse Forecasting (RN4CAST) research was conducted in 12 European countries: Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

At least two general medical and surgical-surgical departments were examined in selected hospitals. The number of answers received varied from country to country. The lowest was in Great Britain 39%, the highest in Poland 97% of nurses qualified for the study took part in it.

The nurses had to answer if they were trained in the country where they currently work, and if not in which one. Therefore, Nurses in European Countries were divided into two groups of those trained in the home market and emigrants.


The nurses had to answer questions about their last duty. They were provided with a list of duties for which he had to specify how many times they had performed them in the last shift (never, rarely, sometimes, and often). The list consisted of 9 items and different.

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Blood Collection/puncture, transporting the patient within the hospital, providing non-nursing care, providing non-nursing services not available outside working hours, providing meals, answering telephones, organizing transport and referrals related to leaving the patient hospital, picking up and unpacking medical supplies/equipment, cleaning patient rooms and medical equipment.

In addition, it was necessary to specify whether the shift was day or night/morning, Professional symbols of nurses, and provide your education and the number of years worked and International travel nursing Europe.


6.2% of the surveyed nurses described themselves as educated in a different country than the one in which they currently work (female migrants). This number varied between different countries. In Ireland, 38.6%, Switzerland 22.1%, England 16.7%, Norway 5.5%, Germany 5.1%, Greece 5.1%, Belgium 3.1%, Netherlands 2.4%, Sweden 2 , 3%, Spain 1.3%, Finland 0.9%.

Nurses in European Countries participating in the study were educated in their country. In all countries, a large number of respondents admitted that they “sometimes” or “often” perform duties below their qualifications.

Most often it is answering phone calls and clerical duties, non-nursing care, and taking care of supplies and equipment. At the same time, more immigrant Nurses in European Countries admitted that they performed one of the 9 activities listed above than their friends from a given country.

The nurse practitioner in Europe

All the cited studies confirm that many nurses perform activities that are not related to nursing care strategies and are below their competence. Such duties are more often imposed on Nurses in European Countries who do not come from the country in which they work.

The authors of the study, however, take into account that in certain circumstances, activities identified as “non-nursing” are in fact part of a nursing care plan and under these conditions may be considered “nursing”, and, the imposed list of “under-qualified” activities may be in fact longer.

Health and education systems in the 12 countries studied are also different, the study did not compare them, therefore it is not known to what extent nurses educated in another country mapped their experiences from that country and to what extent they were forced to take non-nursing activities.

Perspectives of Nurses in European Countries


Research shows that it is possible to optimize nurses’ working time and energy, and to focus on carrying out activities in accordance with their qualifications. Hospital directors should pay more attention to better management of working time by staff and prioritization, and not delegate qualified Nurses in European Countries to non-qualified activities, but to trained personnel.

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WHO emphasizes the importance of equal treatment of employees in healthcare regardless of the country in which the employee was educated.

The report states that immigrant nurses tend to perform unskilled work (e.g. as nursing assistance) as opposed to native Nurses in European Countries. This is discriminatory because it is recognized that irrespective of the Travel nursing Europe, the nursing diploma gives the same qualifications. The European Union should ensure equal rights and treatment for all its citizens.

Written by Dr. Ozair (CEO of SignSymptom.com) as physician writers are physicians who write creatively in fields outside their practice of medicine.

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