Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Experiences of African nurses in the UK National Health Service: A literature review

Likupe, Gloria


Profile Image

Dr Gloria Likupe
Lecturer and Researcher in Healthcare/ Chairperson of School Athena Swan group


Aim. This review aims to highlight the experiences of black African nurses in the United Kingdom. Background. There is an acute shortage of trained nurses in the United Kingdom, which has occurred because of several factors including ageing of the nurse population and increasing demand due to an ageing population as well as under investment in nurse education during the 1980s. Government initiatives have included recruiting nurses trained overseas to meet present and future demands. Among these internationally recruited nurses, a large number came from Africa, but little is known about the experience of nurses once they are in the United Kingdom. Although it is known that ethnic minority nurses suffer discrimination in the National Health Service, experiences of internationally recruited nurses and nurses from African countries, in particular, merit attention as their nursing practices and culture in general are different from those of developed countries. Methods. A literature search was conducted using CINAHL, Medline and Cochrane databases by using the following terms in various combinations: Experiences, African nurses, international nurses, ethnic minorities, discrimination, equal opportunities, United Kingdom and NHS. Conclusions. There is very little research into the experiences of African nurses in the United Kingdom. Research has concentrated on the experience of internationally recruited nurses and ethnic minority nurses in general. There is agreement that most foreign nurses have a negative experience of working in the United Kingdom. Nurses face discrimination in pay and conditions of service and most are exploited by managers. There are also ethical questions surrounding the recruitment of nurses form developing countries and their treatment once they come to the United Kingdom. Relevance to clinical practice. As the nursing workforce in the United Kingdom becomes increasingly diverse through international recruitment, it is important to have knowledge of experiences of different groups of nurses. This helps to devise adaptation programs for smooth transition tailored to particular groups and training that will help United Kingdom nurses to work in harmony with their foreign colleagues.


Likupe, G. (2006). Experiences of African nurses in the UK National Health Service: A literature review. Journal of clinical nursing, 15(10), 1213-1220.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2006
Publication Date Oct 1, 2006
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 10
Pages 1213-1220
Keywords General Nursing; General Medicine
Public URL