Saudization of Nursing

Mebrouk, Jette Jørgensen (2018) Saudization of Nursing. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

PhD Thesis.pdf

Download (3MB)



Saudi Arabia is heavily dependent on an expatriate nurse workforce. Although nursing education has been available in Saudi Arabia since 1958, today only 35% of nurses are Saudis. This dependency on expatriates leaves Saudi Arabia and its population vulnerable in several ways, and the Saudization process is therefore under scrutiny. Saudi women, who increasingly seek education and employment outside the home, might have an interest in nursing as a career. They are, however, met with challenges, such as the perception of their family and society of what is a suitable job for a Saudi woman, the mixing of men and women in the same work setting and the work schedules of nurses. Many of these challenges have already been discussed (Gazzaz, 2009; Al-Shmemri, 2014), but nearly a decade later little seems to have changed.


The main aims of the study were to develop a conceptual framework and model for the Saudization of nursing and provide recommendations for policy and practice regarding the implementation of the model, and thus, the development of a sustainable Saudi nursing workforce.


A constructivist grounded theory approach has been used as a method in this research. This approach has allowed the researcher to gain insight into complex aspects surrounding women and their quest for a career in nursing, while at the same time being invited to explore the experiences of relatives and other members of Saudi society. Data collection took place through individual semi-structured interviews. The data analysis uses initial and focused coding with a constant comparative method, involving theoretical sampling and memo writing. Both data collection and analysis took place through an iterative approach and included 19 participants.


The findings are presented under seven emergent categories, identifying factors that encourage or discourage the process of Saudization in nursing process. The major factors impinging on successful Saudization were identified as: unsocial working hours, challenges maintaining a work-family balance, lack of gender segregation in nursing, women’s traditional role in the family and society, and the social images of nursing, especially those pertaining to the perception that nurses are nothing more than educated maids in the hospital.


While research in the past has merely described the challenges, and provided their related recommendations, the findings from this research were used to inform a conceptual model for the Saudization of nursing which was developed to guide stakeholders, as well as making a number of recommendations which, if acted upon, should help to decrease Saudi Arabia’s dependency on expatriate nurses.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: I am always worried when I am going to acknowledge people who have contributed to something as big as this research. I worry because if I start to mention names, I know that I will forget someone. I do not even know exactly how many people have contributed to this research, with a little or a lot. So how would I ever be able to mention your names? I trust that if you read this page, you will know whether this message is meant for you. To all of you, I say humbly Thank You! But having said that I do have a few special Thank Yous to give. First and foremost, a special Thank You goes all the participants of this research. Thank You for entrusting me with your stories and experiences. You have opened doors for me to gain insight into your lives, for which I will be forever grateful. May Allah bless you and your families! Secondly a big Thank You to my supervisory team throughout the years. Dr. Barbara Howard-Hunt; Dr. Salim Khan; Dr. Sawsan Majali; Prof Paula McGee; and Prof Robert Ashford. Thank you for being there with me on my research journey. Also, a special thank you to Prof. Joy Notter for your expertise and valuable input, and to you Sue Clarke for your assistance in proofreading my dissertation. Last, but not least, a heartfelt Thank You to my family. Thank You to my two sons Yassin and Yousef, for your patience and for sharing your computer savviness. A very special Thank You to my husband, Tomas Mebrouk, Thank You for encouraging and believing in me. Thank You for always being there with a hand in my back pushing me forward, and for taking over my responsibilities at home. You are unique and I am forever indebted. May Allah bless you, our sons and the rest of the family!
1 November 2018UNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Saudization; Career Choice; Saudi Arabia; Nursing for Saudi Women; Constructivist Grounded Theory
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-04 - nursing and midwifery > CAH02-04-01 - nursing (non-specific)
CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-04 - languages and area studies > CAH19-04-07 - African and modern Middle Eastern studies
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2019 13:33
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:41

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...