The movement of Indonesian nurses via a bilateral agreement with Japan has led to a substantial number of migrants to work as nurses in that nation’s healthcare system. The purpose of this research was to develop a deeper understanding of the meaningful experiences of Indonesian nurses while working in Japanese hospitals.
In this phenomenological study, sampling was purposive and was based on information shared by five Indonesian nurses. The data were collected in interviews; the analysis was thematic.
Six key themes were identified: (i) seeking better than before; (ii) communication challenges; (iii) the nursing examination as a culmination; (iv) differences in nursing practice; (v) cultural differences; and (vi) the benefits of living in developed country. Among these challenges, communication as the basis of shared meaning and understanding was viewed as a complex issue, by both patients and coworkers.
The results of this study call for further intervention in supporting Indonesian nurses living in Japan in their struggle with the issue of communication. The emphasis on language acquisition for personal and professional objectives, and the bridging of cultural differences as well, should be considered in an international context.