Understanding and Responding to the Worldwide Nursing Shortage

Posted Jan 28, 2022

Did you know the worldwide nursing shortage is extensive?

Several factors affect the worldwide nursing shortage:

  • Western countries are recruiting healthcare workers internationally to make up for their own deficit.
  • Nurses are experiencing ongoing burnout from a pandemic that has lasted far too long without relief.
  • Nursing faculty and new graduate nurses are in short supply.

The World Health Organization shares that at least 115,000 nurses have died from COVID-19 — but the total is probably twice this number. Globally, close to 5 million nurses are due to retire over the next few years, decreasing the number of experienced nurses that can precept new nurses.

Unfortunately, nursing school enrollments are not growing fast enough to meet the demand of our healthcare systems. According to the AACN, some universities are turning away applicants due to faculty shortages, budget constraints, and limited clinical sites. Along with these issues, nurses who choose to teach full-time typically take a $20,000-$30,000 annual pay cut.

Otterbein’s Nursing Program contributes to addressing this worldwide problem. Each nursing student we prepare, each new faculty member we support, each new graduate nurse we release into the working world is one more nurse who can make a positive difference locally, nationally, or globally.

For more information on the global nursing shortage, see “Global Shortage of Nurses Set to Grow as Pandemic Enters Third Year,” the American Association of Colleges of Nursing About The Nursing Shortage resource page, and this blog.

Regina Prusinski, Ph.D.
Nursing Graduate Director

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