Migrant Health Professionals and the Global Labour Market: The Dreams and Traps of Nepali Nurses, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Migrant Health Professionals and the Global Labour Market

The Dreams and Traps of Nepali Nurses, 1st Edition

By Radha Adhikari


180 pages

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Hardback: 9780367344252
pub: 2019-11-28
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This book offers a fresh perspective on gender debates in Nepal and analyses how the international migration of the first generation of professional female Nepali nurses has been a catalyst for social change.

With unprecedented access to study participants in Nepal (the source country), following them and their networks in the UK (the destination country), this ethnographic study explores Nepali nurses’ migration journeys, relocation experiences, and their international migration ‘dreams’ and aspirations. It illustrates how migrant nurses strive to manage social and professional difficulties as they work towards achieving their ultimate migration aims. The book shows that nursing shortages and international nurse migration are isseus of gender, on a global scale, and that the current trend of privatisation in health systems makes the labour market vulnerable, and stimulates international migration of health professionals. Arguing that international nurse migration is an integral part of the globalisation of health, the author highlights key policy strategies that are useful for global nursing and health workforce management.

A well-informed and much-needed study of nurse migration in the global healthcare market, this book will be of interest to professionals and academics working in nursing studies, health and social care studies, gender and international migration studies, and global health studies, as well as South Asian studies.


'Based on a rich study of Nepali nurses and their migration journeys to the UK, this book makes excellent contributions to the study of the gendered migration of healthcare professionals in the context of global health inequalities. Suitably subtitled as "The Dreams and Traps of Nepali Nurses", it offers excellent accounts of the experiences, struggles, and successes of female Nepali nurses in the UK. Adhikari offers a powerful ethnographic critique of dominant stereotypical representations of Nepali women. It will be of particular interest to those studying the migration of healthcare professionals and gender and development.'

—Jeevan R. Sharma, University of Edinburgh

'Nurse migration and mobility continues to grow in magnitude, and the flows become more varied and complex. The implications for policy at national, regional, and global levels become ever more pronounced. This book adds new insights into the lived experience of the nurses who move, and in particular it improves our understanding of the dynamics that are in play in Asia, a region that includes many countries with significant nursing shortages, and the UK, a popular destination country for Asian nurses.'

—James Buchan, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations


List of abbreviations

Introduction: Nursing, gender, and the political economy of female migration in Nepal

1 Professional nursing education and the labour market situation in contemporary Nepal

2 The international migration market economy: decision-making, planning, and preparation

3 Arriving and surviving in the UK: navigating a new set of professional challenges

4 ‘There is a vast difference from what I had thought’: professional life in the UK

5 Negotiating with new realities: family and social lives in the UK

6 Concluding discussion: professional nursing in Nepal and nurse migration to the UK




About the Author

Radha Adhikari is a Nepali nurse and a Research Associate at the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK.

About the Series

Routledge/Edinburgh South Asian Studies Series

This series is published in association with the Centre for South Asian Studies, Edinburgh University - one of the leading centres for South Asian Studies in the UK with a strong interdisciplinary focus. It presents research monographs and high-quality edited volumes as well as textbook on topics concerning the Indian subcontinent from the modern period to contemporary times. It aims to advance understanding of the key issues in the study of South Asia, and contributions include works by experts in the social sciences and the humanities. In accordance with the academic traditions of Edinburgh, we particularly welcome submissions which emphasise the social in South Asian history, politics, sociology and anthropology, based upon thick description of empirical reality, generalised to provide original and broadly applicable conclusions.

The series welcomes new submissions from young researchers as well as established scholars working on South Asia, from any disciplinary perspective.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies