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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

RNAO President: end poaching nurses from developing countries

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The debate is on about the recruitment nurses from the developing nations to work in the rich countries. Recently, a team of health recruiters from a trip to the Philippines informed that nearly 300 Filipino nurses have accepted jobs in Saskatchewan, Canada. However, the President of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Dr. Mary Ferguson-Paré, has strongly condemned the practice and says that the poaching of nurses from the developing world cannot be justified.


Global forum calls for urgent action to resolve health worker crisis

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The first Global Forum on Human Resources for Health called for immediate and sustained action to resolve the critical shortage of health workers around the world, setting out the essential steps that need to be taken over the next decade to turn the crisis around.


Poaching health workers should be a crime: Lancet

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The prestigious medical journal The Lancet has hit hard against the recruitment of health workers from sub-Saharan Africa by rich, Western countries.  The journal argues that the "poaching" of health workers should be viewed as a crime.

WHO releases new guidelines to address the critical health worker shortages

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In a remarkable shift breaking with traditional health qualification requirements, The World Health Organization (WHO), at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has released new guidelines to address the critical health worker shortages and help expand access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services, according to Panapress/Afriquenligne .


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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.