WHO chief nurse calls for focus on nurse recruitment in 2020

Going into 2020, World Health Organization Chief Nursing Officer Elizabeth Iro sees recruitment and bolstering investment in nursing in low-and middle-income countries as key priorities for the coming decade.

At a meeting for European editors of nursing journals hosted by the International Council of Nurses in November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, Ms. Iro said that it is estimated that by 2030, there will be a global shortfall of 9 million nurses and midwives. This shortage will disproportionately affect low-and middle-income countries, where investment in training nurses may be lacking.

"I think it will be very challenging," she said. "A shortage of 9 million is the projected figure, and I'm hopeful that countries will really consider the bare facts, and their investment in training nurses."

WHO designated the year 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. Ms. Iro said that events organized as part of yearlong celebration can be used as opportunities to highlight nursing contributions and increase nurse recruitment worldwide.

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