Cross border mobility of nurse educators: Case studies from Botswana and South Africa
Migration of nurses across the borders is an ongoing phenomenon that stimulated debates nationally and internationally. The debates were mostly concerned with the nurses working with patients and in the communities. Very little was a concern for nurse educators especially in the two countries studied. Currently, there is acute shortage of nurse educators in these countries with an average age of 50 years for those currently employed. The purpose of the study was to raise awareness on cross border mobility of nurse educators and draw on Foucault’s analysis to conceptualise the means by which cross border migration of nurse educators could be revisited. A case study design of seven nurse educators who had migrated and came back to their countries of origin was explored. Data were generated in three phases using telephonic qualitative interviews. All data were analyzed by constant comparison. The study concluded that the quality of nurse education is undermined by shortage of nurse educators and high student ratios partly as a result of issues concerning cross border migration. Three main themes emerged from the study: family disintegration, lack of recognition and shortage of nurse educators. The study findings have implications for health care policy regarding nurse educators and a change of mindset on cross border mobility of nurse educators.
Keywords: Botswana, cross border migration, nurse educators, South Africa.