World Health & Population
The worldwide shortage of nurses which results from a global undersupply and high attrition rates affects developed countries in the West the same way as it affects developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The difference lies in the fact that developing countries serve as a readily available source of trained nurses for developed countries in Europe, North America and parts of Oceania. Strong "pull" and "push" factors favour wealthier nations in the West in their efforts to deal with domestic shortages through overseas recruitment. Thus, the ongoing nursing shortage in developing countries is worsened by a loss of thousands of trained nurses every year to emigration. This paper brings into focus the magnitude of the problem in terms of the number of nurses migrating to and from various countries and its impact on developing countries. The paper also examines some of the ongoing efforts in developing countries to mitigate the problem and sheds light on the prospects for improvement in the foreseeable future.
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