Rising Demand for India-Trained Nurses: Post-Pandemic Insights
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing faced challenges like increased workload and virus exposure. Recent data from FICCI now shows an unexpected rise in demand for India-trained nurses worldwide.
Rising Demand for India-Trained Nurses
After a pandemic lull, governments report a significant increase in the need for nurses trained in India, from countries like Ireland, Malta, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, the U.K. (Wales), and Belgium. India is second only to the Philippines in exporting nursing talent.
Diverse Specializations in Demand
Anoop K.A., Managing Director of Kerala Government’s ODEPC, notes a rising demand in various sectors: ambulance services, critical care, mental health, and geriatric care. Additionally, medical technicians are also in demand, thus highlighting the diverse career opportunities available for healthcare professionals.
Perks of Working Abroad
Evelyn P. Kannan, Secretary-General of the Trained Nurses Association of India, Delhi, explains that countries worldwide are strengthening their healthcare systems post-pandemic. This has led to increased salaries, healthcare benefits, family visas, and more, making the shift to work abroad an appealing option for India-trained nurses.
Challenges in the Home Country
Even nurses working in Central government hospitals in India are expressing concerns. Long hours, lower pay, and limited growth opportunities have made nursing less appealing domestically.
The Current Nursing Education Landscape
The Indian Nursing Council’s 2021 annual report reveals that India has 5,162 nursing institutes, with 87% being privately managed and 13% government-run. The country has the capacity to train a substantial number of nurses, including diploma-holding nurses (ANM and GNM), graduate nurses (B.Sc. and Post Basic B.Sc.), and postgraduate nurses (M.Sc. and Post Basic M.Sc.).
FICCI’s Report: A Call to Action
Addressing the Rural Health Disparity
FICCI’s ‘Strengthening Healthcare Workforce in India: The 2047 Agenda’ report underscores the need to revitalize the nursing profession in India. It emphasizes the role of nursing in quality healthcare and the necessity for technically skilled, specialized nurses.
The report highlights a geographic healthcare disparity: two-thirds of the population lives in rural areas, served by only a third of the healthcare workforce. This calls for a strategic approach to bridge this gap and ensure healthcare access for all.
The post-pandemic landscape is reshaping the nursing profession in India. The surge in demand for India-trained nurses abroad is an exciting development that offers diverse career prospects and better rewards. This positive trend for those seeking overseas opportunities also underscores the need to address domestic healthcare challenges to retain talent. With the right strategies, India can strengthen its nursing workforce and make healthcare accessible to all.
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