Ambivalence and the experience of China-educated nurses working in Australia

Zhou, Yunxian, Windsor, Carol A., Coyer, Fiona M., & Theobald, Karen A. (2010) Ambivalence and the experience of China-educated nurses working in Australia. Nursing Inquiry, 17(3), pp. 186-196.

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The last decade has seen an increase in research on the experience of immigrant nurses. There are two prevailing approaches in this body of work. One is a focus on the positive or negative aspects of the experience, and the other, a depiction of the experience as a linear movement from struggle to a comfortable state. Based on our study findings on the experience of China educated nurses working in Australia, this study proposes that the concept of ambivalence is more appropriate in portraying the experience of immigrant nurses. Several sources of ambivalence experienced by the participants are represented: a disparity between expectation and reality, conflicting social and cultural norms, the dual reference points of comparison, divergent interests within families, and a sense that although it is unsatisfactory, it is hard to go back. We argue that immigration generates various forms of ambivalence and immigrant nurses must live with more or less ambivalence. The notion of ambivalence can explain a range of behaviours and situations beyond the scope of rational-choice explanations. To date, ambivalence as a theoretical concept in understanding the experience of immigrant nurses has been either ignored or insufficiently addressed in the literature.

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9 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 38740
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Ambivalence, Experience, Immigrants, Immigration, Nurses
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2010.00492.x
ISSN: 1320-7881
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2010 23:01
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:20

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