There has been a growing shortage of nurses worldwide. This shortage has caused a migration tendency of qualified nurses, usually from less well-off countries to more ‘economically advantaged’ countries to fill these vacancies (Ea et al, 2010). The difference in cultural background has proved a challenge to these immigrant nurses who have had to acculturate to the new cultures they find in the new countries. Ea et al (2010) indicates that studies done have identified that better acculturation of nurses enhances satisfaction at work. Ea et al (2010) therefore found it important to conduct a study to investigate the acculturation of immigrant nurses in Israel and the USA. This paper analyzes critically the study objectives, sampling, methodology and findings.
The target population was immigrant nurses of Filipino origin in the USA and those from the former Soviet Union in Israel. This study was carried out to identify the extent of acculturation of nurses in their host countries in the two groups and to determine the difference in acculturation between the two groups. Nurses from the former Soviet Union were completing their education but already practicing as nurses in Israel, while Filipino immigrant nurses were attending a function organized by the Philippine Nurses Association of America. 50 nurses were interviewed in Israel and 141 in USA.
A method known as “A Short Acculturation Scale for Filipino Americans” (ASASFA) was used. The method uses of a 5-point Likert-Scale-based questionnaire with 12 questions on language and socialization preferences. All nurses interviewed in Israel were female, with a mean age of 34 years. The Filipino group had a majority of female nurses at 86.5%, with an age mean of 45 years.
The study indicated that for former Soviet Union nurses, out of a possible score of 5, their average score on acculturation was at 2.15 while for Filipino nurses the average score was 3. This shows that the Filipino nurses had adapted to the American culture while the former Soviet Union nurses were still more in touch with their original culture.
Various reasons were given for this difference including the fact that the population of former Soviet Union immigrants was high at 16% of the entire Israeli population therefore meaning that there was more interaction with their original culture, hence the preference. The Filipino nurses were also exposed to American culture, even before migrating, hence the ease of adaptation.
The study was published in the International Nursing Review; the official publication of the International Council of Nurses (Robinson, 2012).The source is therefore reliable as the journal is peer-reviewed. The study used a descriptive design which is in line with the research questions as the researchers sought to describe the acculturation process. Data obtained answered the research question as the study found out that there was a higher acculturation among Filipino nurses that those from the former Soviet Union. The researchers went further and identified the specific reasons for the difference in acculturation levels.
Participants were chosen using the convenience sampling technique. Though only nurses who were available were chosen to fill the questionnaire, there is no proof that this could have influenced the findings. The ASASFA method used to measure acculturation has proven to be reliable in previous studies (Ea et al, 2010). The measure was tested for accuracy and reliability for this particular research giving a Cronbach’s alpha (Brown, 2012) of 0.78 for the Former Soviet Union group and 0.85 for the Filipino group.The researchers, however, do not indicate how they dealt with the extreme variables or how they ensured there was no bias in the study.
The method of execution of the study involved issuing questionnaires to the two groups at a time when participants were all together. This could cause a risk of consulting each other to ‘manage’ answers. The researchers indicate that there is no evidence that this problem may have occurred.
The results of the study are consistent with findings of other researches conducted on immigrant nurses. The results as, outlined in the discussion section, give almost similar findings with researches reviewed in the “Immigrant nurses in the USA and Israel” section. It is therefore safe to say that all the findings are credible.
The t-test was used to determine the existence of a difference in acculturation between the two groups and was found to be significant with a t value of 11.30. This indicated that there was a significant difference between the acculturation of the two groups.
The researchers suggest that the results of the study be used by the two groups of nurses to successfully integrate into their host cultures so that they may socialize and be more comfortable working in a multicultural society.
The findings from the study add to the body of knowledge on the acculturation of immigrants into foreign cultures. With the growing immigration of nursing professionals to developed countries, the study is timely in addressing this issue. The findings will be useful not just to nurses, but to other people interested in knowing about acculturation.
Brown, S. J. (2012). Evidence-Based Nursing: The Research-Practice Connection. (2nd Ed.). Burlington, Massachussets. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Ea, E., Itzhaki M., Ehrenfeld M. & Fitzpatrick J. (2010). Acculturation among immigrant nurses in Israel and the United States of America. International Nursing Review. 57(4), 443-448. Web.
Robinson, J. (2012). International Nursing Review: Society Information. Web.