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Global Healthcare Delivery Crisis

Photo Source: World Health Organization Media Centre, 2008, Zimbabwe. Nurse working during a cholera outbreak. Photographer: Paul Garwood, used with attribution as specified by WHO.

NIGH is highlighting global concern for the continuing critical shortage of nurses, midwives & community healthcare workers — what this means for everyone across the world.

Nurses & Midwives:
Now More the Ever for a Healthy World >>

Daring, Caring & Sharing >>
Connections between the Global Health Care Delivery Crisis & Maternal Death

Nurturing the Nurse >>
Innovative ways to address burn-out

Online Resources

The Global Nursing Review Initiative >>

A comprehensive approach prepared and posted by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) & its sister organization the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF). This multi-factoral initiative aims to address many of the issues related to this crisis — including analyses of nursing workforce concerns around the world — as well as the identification of priorities for policy intervention and related recommendations. A multi-factoral list of related ICN position statements is also available >>

“Evidence shows that nursing is a cost effective yet often undervalued and underutilized health care resource. Nurses must clearly articulate and demonstrate the value and cost-effectiveness of nursing and nursing outcomes to consumers, other health providers and policy-makers at all levels. They must also be able to negotiate and advocate for the resources needed to provide safe care. Nurses have a responsibility to engage in research and develop innovative models of care delivery that will contribute evidence of nursing effectiveness to planning, management and policy development.”


A nurse is providing health care to a patient of the Bocaranga Hospital in the Ouaham Pende Prefecture of northwest Central African Republic (CAR), 30 June 2008. Most of the health centres in northern CAR lack basic equipment, skilled staff and drugs.

Credits: Pierre Holtz for UNICEF. Used with attribution as required by UNICEF.

The Nursing Shortage Knows No Boundaries

by Martha Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
from The Baltimore Sun Online
September 13, 2010

“The U.S. and the U.K. have about 1,000 nurses per 100,000 people. In developing countries like Chad, Gambia, Uganda and almost anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the ratio drops to a measly 20 nurses for every 100,000 inhabitants. Reversing this global trend requires a global perspective and global nursing.”

What Is The Nursing Shortage? Why Does It Exist?

An extensive website providing a comprehensive overview from an American perspective.

"The vast gap between what skilled nurses really do and what the public thinks they do is a fundamental factor underlying most of the more immediate apparent causes of the shortage.”

Also on the American front:

Regular Updates on the Nursing Shortage

from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) including White Papers, Fact Sheets & Talking Points

Educators tackle Canada's nursing shortage

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Schools of nursing across Canada are planning to take action to tackle the nursing shortage in the country.


Two views on the international recruitment of nurses: US government and RNAO

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A major debate is under way on the international recruitment of nurses. An article, recently published in The Washington Post, deals with the new ethical guidelines, adopted by a coalition of health associations to protect foreign-trained nurses from abusive employment practices at U.S. medical facilities.


"Send Us Your Nurses": Robbing the poor to nurse the rich

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's weekly radio program Dispatches reports from Manila, Philippines on the impact of the spiralling export of nurses on the country's healthcare system. The Philippines is a heaven for international nursing recruitment agencies. Last year, the number of nurse training schools doubled in the country. According to the CBC report, the Filipino government regards nurses as a product for export. Working abroad, nurses send money back to help their families, thereby channelling much need foreign exchange.  Ironically, the trade agreement between Japan and the Philippines, lists nurses among other commodity goods. Doctors, who desire to work in rich countries, but have to go through tough examinations and procedures, are now retraining to become nurses to move to greener pastures. The export of nurses is killing the health system in the Philippines. NIGH commends the CBC for its excellent report and urges all net users to take time to listen to the program.  The link will take you to CBC's Dispatches page. Scroll down to the item, entitled, "Send Us Your Nurses".

Nurse Shortage Cripples South African Health System

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In the impoverished informal settlement of Du Noon, 20 kilometres north of Cape Town in South Africa, sick residents rely on a single clinic staffed by six nurses to meet their health needs.


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Visitors at the Mapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts. This was the site to launch Dr. Jean Watson's Million Nurse Project—during the 2010 International Year of the Nurse—to radiate heart-centered Love, Caring and Compassion through individual and collective global meditations. Photo Courtesy of the Mary Baker Eddy Library.