Nursing is Central to Modern Healthcare Delivery
The demand for nursing remains high, and projections suggest that such demand will substantively increase. Demographic changes, such as large aging populations in many countries of the world, fuel this demand. Globally speaking, health challenges are changing and becoming increasingly complex due to an ageing population with a chronic disease burden, such as cardiovascular, hypertension, diabetes and mental health conditions.
Universal health coverage, achieving adequate population health standards and promoting equitable access to care depends upon the quality and quantity of a robust healthcare workforce. Sustainability of qualified nurses are urgently needed to properly meet increasing demand.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts increased global demand for health and social care staff with the creation of 40 Mn new jobs by 2030. According to WHO, the number of healthcare workers worldwide will fall short by a whopping 12.9 Mn in 2035. An ageing workforce, falling numbers in people entering the profession, early retirements, inadequate training and increasing demands are some of the reasons attributed to the global shortage of healthcare workers.
An estimated 5.3 Mn (89%) of that shortage is concentrated in low- and lower middle-income countries, where the growth in the number of nurses is barely keeping pace with population growth, improving only marginally the nurse-to-population density levels. The wide variation in density of nursing personnel to population, with the greatest gaps in countries in the African, South-East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions and some countries in Latin America.
According to Indian health ministry statistics, there are only 1.7 nurses per 1000 people in India which is less than the WHO prescribed minimum of 3 per 1000 population. India is going through the second-largest shortage of nurses in the world after Bangladesh. Interestingly, the top four are Scandinavian countries: Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Iceland. Their numbers range from around 16.3 to almost 18 nurses and midwives for every 1,000 people. After this, the next seven highest are all in Europe. Canada is at 14 with about 9.8 nurses and midwives for every thousand persons. The United States ranks at 19, with an 8.5.
Despite the various factors contributing towards the nursing shortage, it is also well known that working with unsafe nurse-patient ratios and chronic understaffing on clinical units negatively impact patient outcomes and contribute towards multiple poor outcomes among staff as well.
Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women compared to 41% in all employment sectors. Nursing and midwifery occupations represent a significant share of the female workforce.
Millennium Development GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
The international community, through Goal 3, has committed itself to a global effort to eradicate disease, strengthen treatment and healthcare, and address new and emerging health issues. According to WHO: investment in nurses will contribute not only to health-related SDG targets, but also to education (SDG 4), gender (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). Achieving this transformation will require remodelling many aspects of the health care system. This is especially true for the nursing profession, the largest segment of the health care workforce.
The United States has Affordable Care Act (ACA), to transform its health care system.
As on 2020, the nursing workforce is expanding in size and professional scope. However, the expansion is not equitable, is insufficient to meet rising demand, and is leaving some populations behind. Key is investing in nursing education, skills, jobs and leadership.
Nurses need Robust Education, Supportive Work Environments, and Autonomy
Advances in health care technology, rising expectations of people seeking care, and reorganization of health care systems require a greater number of highly educated professionals. And, investing in nurses and midwives is good value for money.
The WHO advocated for investment in policy to support and sustain the nursing workforce in the health care system by targeting both supply and demand factors. Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well supported nurses and midwives.
Nursing Education - From Diplomas to Degrees and Beyond
The nursing profession consists of registered professional nurses who practice in a variety of settings. To become a nurse one must attend a program of study most often at the Associate Degree level of the Baccalaureate Degree level. Upon completion they must pass a state licensing exam in order to practice. A Master’s of Science in Nursing and even doctorate-level degrees for those who would like to teach or conduct research. In addition to earning higher degrees in nursing itself, some nurse leaders are opting to round out their education with Six Sigma certifications, Business and Strategy certifications, and other management-related classes to grow beyond their MSN training.
National and state agencies also regulate the scope of nursing practice. Together, these bodies set forth legal parameters and guidelines for the practice of nurses as clinicians, educators, administrators, or researchers.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) does global profile of nursing regulation, education, and practice, an innovative initiative for information sharing and data collection among nurse regulators worldwide.
CGFNS International (formerly Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools), helps foreign educated healthcare professionals live and work in their country of choice by assessing and validating their academic and professional credentials.
Interest Groups - Advanced Education of Nurses has Become Nation’s Priority
The WHO has had a long-standing interest in promoting the role of nursing, particularly as independent community-based providers of primary health care in Third World and other underserved countries. It is a collaborating partner in the Nursing Now campaign, launched in early 2018. The 3-year campaign aims to improve health globally by raising the status and profile of nursing, demonstrating what more can be achieved by a strengthened nursing profession, and enabling nurses to maximize their contribution to achieving universal health coverage.
There exists wide variety of nursing special-interest groups. Different unions also engage in collective bargaining and labour organizing on behalf of nurses, such as Nursing Forum, Canadian Federation of Nurses Union (CFNU). The International Council of Nurses (ICN), a federation of over 128 national nurses associations based in Geneva, speaks for nursing globally.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and its national affiliates have long recognized the critical role of nursing in disaster relief and ongoing health education projects.
Nursing Education Standards
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the body that sets the standards that are expected to meet as a nursing or midwifery student. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Global Standards for Midwifery Education. Institute of Medicine (IOM) advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) consensus model and regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education.
American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Canadian Nursing Association (CNA).
Institutions Imparting Nursing Education
Ausmed, Duquesne University’s Online MSN in Nurse Education, Future Learn, International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE), Nurse.com, Nurse.org, Nurses International, Nursing Times, the Journal of Nursing Education, Lippincott Nursing Center, Symposia Medicus provide online nursing education for developing, grow or start nursing career with a range of flexible online nursing courses ideal for continuing professional development (CPD).
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Nursing Education Market
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