Based on our survey conducted in Tamil Nadu, this paper analyses the characteristics of Indian migrant nurses and the factors influencing their migration. India is considered the second largest exporter of nurses after the Philippines. Many Indian nurses have migrated to work in OECD countries, the Gulf countries and some ASEAN countries. While Indian nurses are migrating overseas to fill shortages at their destinations, India has itself been suffering from an acute scarcity of nurses since its independence in 1947. Therefore, the large scale of nurse migration is a serious threat to the Indian healthcare system. The results of the survey imply that international migration by nurses can be explained in part by the gap between the private sector and the public sector in terms of salary and working environment. Since the impact of social status on the migration decisions of nurses has lessened, economic factors are the crucial determinant of international migration of nurses. Policy intervention in this area is the necessary first step to solving this long-standing problem. The priority in any policies formulated should be given to nurses working in the private sector whose salaries are considerably lower than those in the public sector and whose voices are unheard.