Nurse shortages: why is there a constant struggle to fill rotas?
In our podcast, International Council of Nurses chief executive Howard Catton talks about the need for up to 13 million new nurses worldwide
Is your workplace missing some nurses? Is there a perpetual struggle to fill rota gaps?
This is not just a UK problem, but one that is reflected across the world, impacting global health in the most significant way, the latest episode of the Nursing Standard podcast hears.
In this episode, International Council of Nurses (ICN) chief executive Howard Catton talks about the need for up to 13 million new nurses worldwide over the next few years.
‘We think the biggest immediate threat to global health is the shortage of nurses and healthcare workers, we think it’s that serious,’ he tells the podcast.
Wealthy countries fuelling global nurse shortage problems
Mr Catton talks about how wealthy countries are fuelling problems by recruiting large numbers of nurses from overseas, and investment in training more nurses is urgently needed.
These shortages affect the nursing profession’s ability to deal with the ongoing pandemic, and the care backlog caused by COVID-19, according to Mr Catton, a former policy lead at the RCN.
Staffing gaps also limit the profession’s ability to face other major challenges, including dealing with the impact of climate change, which has led to extreme hot weather, fires, typhoons and flooding.
Mr Catton discusses with journalist Erin Dean how the nursing voice must be heard in discussions around understanding and tackling climate change.
‘No one country can fix these problems on their own’
He also speaks about how nurses remain at risk in the front line in area of global conflict. This includes the war in Ukraine, and how the ICN is helping nurses there.
The global nursing community is profoundly important as ‘no one country can fix these problems on their own’, Mr Catton says. ‘If we are going to deliver peace and security then nurses are going to be at the heart of all that.’
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