International Migration Opportunities and Occupational Choice: Evidence from Philippine Nursing Students

Mary Arends-Kuenning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Alvaro Calara, De La Salle University-Manila
Stella Go, De La Salle University-Manila

With globalization, the migration of health care workers from developing countries to developed countries has accelerated, leading to renewed concern about brain drain. However, increased opportunities for skilled work in developed countries might result in a brain gain if more students decide to become nurses than can find work abroad. The Philippines provides an ideal setting to study whether brain gain might occur because it is the world's largest source country of nurse migrants. In addition, the nursing education sector is very flexible and is dominated by private universities that are responsive to market signals. Based on focus group discussion data and survey data obtained from nursing students in the Philippines, we examine students' motivations to become nurses and to what extent their choices were affected by the possibility of international migration. We analyze recent trends in nursing education in the Philippines in the context of international nurse migration.

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Presented in Session 198: Higher Education: Cross-Country Comparisons and Mobility