World may be short 5.7M nurses by 2030: 4 report takeaways

The world's nursing workforce increased by 4.7 million nurses between 2013 and 2018, although the threat of shortages still exists, according to a new report the World Health Organization released April 6.

The "State of the World's Nursing 2020" report is based on healthcare workforce data from 191 countries, 80 percent of which also provided data on at least 15 nursing indicators related to workforce policy.

Four report takeaways:

1. The global workforce includes 27.9 million nurses, accounting for 59 percent of healthcare professionals worldwide.

2. More than 80 percent of nurses practice in countries that comprise half of the world's population. 

3. Current trends show the global nursing workforce will hit 36 million by 2030, leaving a shortage of 5.7 million nurses. To prevent this shortage, countries will need to increase the number of nurse graduates by 8 percent annually.

4. WHO recommends governments and other relevant stakeholders focus on the following three efforts to fortify the nursing workforce and improve healthcare:

  • Boost investments in nursing education
  • Create at least 6 million new nursing jobs by 2030 to offset projected shortages
  • Strengthen nurse leadership and nurses' role in policymaking

For more information on the report, click here.

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