Labour market incorporation of migrant nursing professionals in the European Union: a linear process? The case of Portuguese nurses

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Over the last decades’ various European healthcare systems have relied, to a greater or lesser extent, on the international recruitment of health professionals. After the European Union enlargement to the East and the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis, that has affected with particular severity the semiperipheral and peripheral countries, there has been a reconfiguration of these flows. The proportion of nursing professionals moving to, and registering in, another EU country has increased steadily. The information available suggests that this phenomenon has particular expression among Portuguese nurses, despite the needs of human resources in the national health system. Recently conducted studies about Portuguese skilled emigrants, particularly on nursing professionals, unveil disparities in status and earnings when compared to domestic health workforce. Other researches on the European context also
showed compelling evidence that migrant nursing professionals experience inadequate support, unfavourable work conditions, face greater risk of performing tasks below their skill level and have fewer opportunities of career development and promotion. These results challenge the principle of nondiscriminatory treatment of workers and suggest that the skills and knowledge of foreign trained nurses are often wasted in the health systems. How to explain these inferences? What are the underlying factors and mechanisms? How do they interact? What’s the degree of influence of institutional, organizational and social contexts? To answer these questions, we propose a multilevel approach, thus contributing to highlight the articulations of the various factors and mechanisms that produce inequality, between
migrants and natives, in the labour market.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2017
EventMasters International Research & Development Center, MIRDEC-6th: International Academic Conference on Social Sciences, Multidisciplinary, Economics, Business and Finance Studies, (Global Meeting of Social Science Community) - Radisson Blu Hotel, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 27 Nov 201729 Nov 2017
Conference number: 6th


ConferenceMasters International Research & Development Center, MIRDEC-6th
Abbreviated titleMIRDEC-6th
Internet address


  • Labour market incorporation
  • European Union
  • Portuguese nurses


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