Nurses’ International Migration and the Crystallizing ‘Culture of Exile’ in Nigeria: Historical Trends, Dynamics and Consequences

  • Akachi Odoemene Oxford-Princeton Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Obiomachukwu Osuji University of Benin, Benin city
Keywords: Nurses, Motivation, International Migrations, Culture of exile, Nigeria


This paper examines an oft-neglected feature of international migration: social changes (disruptions and/or dislocations of their normal ways of living) in source societies in response to the exigencies of these migrations, and their eventual consequences. It demonstrates how policies in developed economies inadvertently impact on developing societies by creating new social conditions. An exploratory case of Nigerian nurses’ international migration, the paper takes the hypothetical perspective that the socioeconomic effects of migration have engendered a crystallizing ‘culture of exile’ among significant youth populations. It examines the lures/motivation of nurse training and establishes a new dominant drive – the urge to migrate to developed, high-income economies. This development is a direct result of the long-term ‘progressive impact’ of migrated nurses’ remittances in local societies. The paper shows how locals’ belief in the high probability of nurses to attract ‘overseas’ suitors/spouses also feeds into the narrative. The development dire consequences were also highlighted.

Author Biography

Obiomachukwu Osuji, University of Benin, Benin city
Department of Nursing