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Lived experiences of Nepalese nurses working in Australia

posted on 16.02.2017, 04:48 by Lohani, Sarswati
Australia is a multicultural country with a long history of migration of Overseas Qualified Nurses (OQNs) from Non English Speaking Background (NESB) and their contribution in health care sector. However, little is known about the OQNs and their experiences. A phenomenological study guided by van Manen was used to explore the lived experiences of Nepalese nurses in Australia. The study aimed at exploring experiences of the Nepalese nurses and added significantly in understanding various factors associated with OQNs practising in Australia. Face to face in-depth interviews were conducted among five Nepalese nurses working as registered nurse (RN) in Australia for the purpose of this study. The findings of this study are categorized under four main headings: Lived Time, Lived Space, Lived World and Lived Corporality. Analysis and interpretation of the data was done according to van Manen's guidance. The experiences of the Nepalese nurses within Australian social and professional environment were very significant especially during the initial couple of years. Various levels of adjustment in relation to the language, culture, environment and professional practice were required. Experiences as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) in aged care facilities and involvement in bridging course for the registration were discovered as two important activities that helped the nurses to adapt in the professional and cultural practices. Also the support from the spouse was found to be significant to overcome all the challenges. The finding of this study reveals that the nurses were happy to be able to work in Australia even though the initial few years were stressful. The research findings can be used to assist other Nepalese nurses in their adaptation process. It can also be utilised by Australian nurses, organizations and policy makers to understand the Nepalese nurses and facilitate the adaption process of the Nepalese nurses as well as other OQNs. Thus, proper utilisation of the research findings can facilitate the adaptation process of these nurses in Australia.


Principal supervisor

Beverley Copnell

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Nursing and Midwifery

Campus location



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences