Approx 28 Million Nurses Globally But Shortages in Many Countries

Physician discussing treatment plan
Physician discussing treatment plan

International Council of Nurses (ICN) published a report ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and International Supply & Mobility of Nurses. The report mainly shows concerns over nurse’s shortages due to immigration. More nurses going abroad creating a risk to the healthcare delivery in the poor and developing countries.

Developed nations, high income countries as per ICN report, are hiring more nurses overseas. If this trend continues, the healthcare system of low and middle-income countries will have serious consequences.  Preparedness to fight COVID-19 getting effected due to shortage.

Professor Buchan said: “There is a real danger that some high-income countries will revert to their pre-COVID-19 practices of bolstering their nursing workforces by recruiting international nurses, rather than prioritizing adequate domestic training capacity, and improving retention of nurses and the attractiveness of nursing as a career. They must ensure that the risk of COVID-19 burnout of nurses is addressed, and provide fair pay and conditions of employment, structured career opportunities, and access to continuing education.”

Recently WHO published a report about the shortages of nurses around the world. ICN referring some of the facts from the same report and the emphasis is on the outcomes of nurses supply.

The report indicates that according to 2017 data, more than 20000 nurses from Kerala were working abroad and more than 57% in the Middle East. The full report can be found here

Indian nurses are popular around the world and the immigration rate is high from Kerala. Good pay and nursing reputation in the western world are attractive and nurses keep trying for the council exam. In the past few years, the UK also relaxed the visa norms for foreign nursing graduates. The NCLEX-RN exam is on the top in the list for Indian nurses.


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