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“State of the World’s Nursing” report

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

“State of the World’s Nursing” report

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings, challenges and concerns highlighted.

For Mains: Measures to address these concerns and challenges.

Context: WHO, along with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the Nursing Now campaign, has released a report titled, “State of the World’s Nursing”.

 Key findings and observations- Areas of concern:

  1. Globally, there are roughly 36.9 nurses per 10,000 people, with variations within and across regions.
  2. There are almost 10 times more nurses in the Americas than in the African region. While there are 83.4 nurses per 10,000 population in the former, there are 8.7 nurses per 10,000 population in the latter.
  3. By 2030, there will be a shortage of over 5.7 million nurses worldwide.
  4. The largest shortfall in absolute numbers is in the South-East Asian region, while in the Americas and Europe, the problem is different since they are facing an ageing nursing workforce.
  5. Moreover, a number of high-income countries in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and American regions are “exclusively” dependent on migrant nurses.
  6. As nurses and other medical workers are at the frontlines of this global pandemic, some of the key issues they face include shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, eye-protective gear and gloves, and also the psychological stress faced by some medical staff.

 What needs to be done?

Governments should invest in nursing education, jobs and leadership. Some of these measures include remunerating nurses according to the prevalent local, national and international labour market conditions.

 Need for recognition of their works:

The report highlights that work nurses do is critical in fulfilling national and global targets related to universal health care, mental health, noncommunicable diseases, emergency preparedness and response, among others such goals.

  • Within the healthcare sector, nurses play a critical role. They comprise the largest component of health professionals, at over 59 per cent — or 27.9 million in absolute numbers — underling that their role, especially during the current health crisis, is paramount.
  • Overall, nurses are important in ensuring the quality of care delivered to a patient, preventing and controlling infections and combating antimicrobial resistance.

State of Nursing in India:

  1. As of 2018, there were over 1.56 million nurses in India and 772,575 nursing associates. Out of this, the share of professional nurses is 67 per cent, with 322,827 graduating every year with a minimum training period of four years.
  2. Within the health workforce, nurses comprise 47 per cent of the medical staff, followed by doctors (23.3 per cent), dentists (5.5 per cent) and pharmacists (24.1 per cent).
  3. Further, an overwhelming majority of the nurses are women — 88 per cent in India. This is in line with the composition of nursing seen globally as well, where 90 per cent are women.

Sources: Indian Express.