A Scoping Review of the Literature on Internationally Educated Nurses in Canada: Mapping a Research Agenda

Christine L. Covell, Elena Neiterman, Ivy Lynn Bourgeault


The purpose of this scoping review was to map key themes in the Canadian literature on the professional integration of internationally educated nurses (IENs), identify the types and sources of and gaps in evidence, and offer recommendations for research. The work was guided by a 6-step methodological framework for scoping reviews. The search and selection of academic and grey literature for the period 2000-13 resulted in a sample of 157 papers for full-text screening. Themes derived from the literature reflect stages of IENs' professional integration: pre-immigration and early arrival, professional recertification, workforce integration, and workplace integration. Data were extracted, coded, and collated using electronic charts. Numerical and qualitative thematic summaries were used to analyze the data. Recommendations for research are as follows: create data systems to track IEN immigration and integration; determine the effectiveness of programs and policies for IENs; and examine the influence of language proficiency on professional recertification, workplace integration, and patient safety.

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