Professor Kathleen McCourt, President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, looks at strategies to fill the acute shortage of nurses across the Commonwealth, including international health worker mobility and the ethical recruitment of nurses between countries.
“Is it ethical for countries with high nurse and midwife density to recruit nurses and midwives from countries with low nurse and midwifery density?”
The year 2020 has been designated by the WHO as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The first ever State of the World’s Nursing report will be released alongside the third State of the World’s Midwifery report. They are likely to reinforce what we already know: that there is an estimated seven to nine million shortfall in nurses and midwives globally, and that there is also an unequal distribution of these health workers, with South East Asia and Africa facing the greatest shortages.
The focus on nursing and midwifery in 2020 gives countries an incentive to evaluate the number, distribution and status of their own nursing and midwifery workforce and to determine whether it is fit for purpose.
Across the Commonwealth, there are vast differences in the density of nurses and midwives per 1,000 population, both across and within regions…
Professor Kathleen McCourt
President, Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation