Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

The Impact of Nurse Shortages on the Nursing Ecosystem and the Global Community (#5)

Eucebious E Lekalakala-Mokgele 1
  1. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, GAUTENG, South Africa

Background: A well-functioning health system relies on a strong health workforce, and is  critical in improving population health,  and achieving universal health coverage.  The Global Strategy on human resources for health (HRH): Workforce 2030 emphasizes the importance of having an adequate, skilled, responsive, and equitably distributed healthcare staff especially nurses who are the building blocks of healthcare ecosystems. The Global Health Workforce Alliance and WHO reported a global deficit of 7.2 million nurses, with a projected shortage of 18 million by 2030.

Existing knowledge on the topic:

  • Addressing the skilled nursing workforce shortage is essential for ensuring universal health coverage (UHC).
  • Universal access to health services requires a sufficient number of qualified and well-distributed nurses.
  • Inadequate human resources for health information systems and registries, particularly in African countries, lead to fragmented and inaccurate data on the healthcare workforce.

Aims and objectives: This paper aims to shed light on the global challenge of nursing shortages. The specific objectives are:

  • Highlighting population ratios in different countries and regions worldwide.
  • Proposing global strategies to alleviate the shortage of nurses.
  • Encouraging policymakers to develop strategies for recruiting and retaining nurses.

Thematic areas of discussion:

  1. Factors contributing to the nursing shortage
  2. Human resource management strategies.
  3. Influence of policy levers on shaping health labor markets.
  4. The potential implications of the fourth industrial revolution on the healthcare workforce.

Conclusion: The availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of nursing professionals are crucial for the functioning and coverage of health systems. This paper concludes that urgent collective intervention, along with short-term and long-term action plans, is necessary to address the global nurse shortage crisis. Policymakers face the challenge of developing a comprehensive set of policies that provide sustainable and long-term solutions