FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Among foreign-educated nurses working in the United States, a substantial number report experiencing discrimination in wages, benefits, or work assignments compared with their American colleagues, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the American Journal of Nursing.
Patricia Pittman, Ph.D., from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues surveyed 502 newly arrived foreign-educated nurses working in the United States about wages, benefits, work assignments, job satisfaction, perceived discrimination, and clinical and cultural orientation to the United States.
The researchers found that 51 percent of foreign-educated nurses said that their orientation was insufficient and 40 percent said they had experienced discrimination in terms of wages, benefits, or shift or unit assignments. Perceived unequal treatment was significantly more likely among nurses educated in low-income countries and among those recruited by staffing agencies.
"These findings raise both practical and ethical concerns that should interest those striving to create positive health care workplace environments and to ensure staff retention," Pittman and colleagues conclude.