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Global nurse shortages-the facts, the impact and action for change.

Authors
  • Drennan, Vari M1
  • Ross, Fiona1
  • 1 Centre for Health & Social Care Research, Joint Faculty of Kingston University & St. George's University of London, St. George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London ,UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
British Medical Bulletin
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jun 19, 2019
Volume
130
Issue
1
Pages
25–37
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/bmb/ldz014
PMID: 31086957
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Nurses comprise half the global health workforce. A nine million shortage estimated in 2014 is predicted to decrease by two million by 2030 but disproportionality effect regions such as Africa. This scoping review investigated: what is known about current nurse workforces and shortages and what can be done to forestall such shortages? Published documents from international organisations with remits for nursing workforces, published reviews with forward citation and key author searches. Addressing nurse shortages requires a data informed, country specific model of the routes of supply and demand. It requires evidence informed policy and resource allocation at national, subnational and organisation levels. The definition in law, type of education, levels and scope of practice of nurses varies between countries raising questions of factors and evidence underpinning such variation. Most policy solutions proposed by international bodies draws on data and research about the medical workforce and applies that to nurses, despite the different demographic profile, the work, the career options, the remuneration and the status. Demand for nurses is increasing in all countries. Better workforce planning in nursing is crucial to reduce health inequalities and ensure sustainable health systems. Research is needed on: the nursing workforce in low income countries and in rural and remote areas; on the impact of scope of practice and task-shifting changes; on the impact over time of implementing system wide policies as well as raising the profile of nursing. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected]

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