State Of The World's Nursing 2020: 10 Stats To Know

Connect with GQR's Healthcare Recruitment Specialists

State Of The World’s Nursing 2020 Report: 10 Stats To Know

April 27, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a nursing report on World Health Day. The detailed report gives a scope of the global nursing workforce and the approaches that should be implemented to contribute to an effective workforce that will support the welfare of nurses as well as their patients.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) in partnership with WHO indicate that the nursing profession is understaffed. The report further indicates that the number of nurses has increased by 4.7 million for the year 2013 to 2018. Even so, there is a shortage of 5.9 million nurses. Countries that have the most significant gaps are in Africa, South East Asia, the Mediterranean regions, some parts of Latin America and South East Asia.

Find out 10 other statistics you need to know from the 2020 State Of The World’s Nursing 2020 Report:

  • Nursing represents the largest occupation in the health care sector, accounting for 59% of health care professionals.
  • There are 27.9 million nurses in the workforce, of which 19.3 million are classified as professional nurses.
  • Over 80% of the world’s nurses are found in countries that account for half of the world’s population. The global shortage of nurses, estimated to be 6.6 million in 2016, had decreased slightly to 5.9 million nurses in 2018.
  • Females account for about 90% of the nursing workforce, but they are underrepresented in leadership positions.
  • Based on data from 86 countries, one nurse out of eight (13%) was born or trained in a country other than the one in which they currently practice.
  • To address the nursing shortage across the globe by 2030 the total number of nursing graduates should be increased by 8%. Countries should be prepared to employ, but also retain the graduates. If the trends work as per the projections, then there will be 36 million nurses across the globe by 2030.
  • Countries affected by shortages will need to increase funding to educate and employ at least 5.9 million additional nurses.
  • 38% of nurses are below the age of 35, while 17%  are 55 and above.
  • One out of six of the world’s nurses are expected to retire in the next 10 years; this percentage is substantially higher in the Region of the Americas (24%), posing a further replenishment challenge.
  • 4.7 million new nurses will have to be educated and employed over the next decade just to maintain the status quo.

The report goes on to say that, “2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This is an opportunity to leverage the evidence in the State of the world’s nursing 2020 report and commit to an agenda that will drive and sustain progress to 2030. To this end, we urge governments and all relevant stakeholders to:

  • invest in the massive acceleration of nursing education – faculty, infrastructure and students – to address global needs, meet domestic demand, and respond to changing technologies and advancing models of integrated health and social care;
  • create at least 6 million new nursing jobs by 2030, primarily in low- and middle-income countries, to offset the projected shortages and redress the inequitable distribution of nurses across the world;
  • strengthen nurse leadership – both current and future leaders – to ensure that nurses have an influential role in health policy formulation and decision-making, and contribute to the effectiveness of health and social care systems.”


see the full state of the worlds nursing report here



About GQR

Specialization. Collaboration. Globalization. These are the three pillars of GQR’s strategic approach.

We are highly specialized in sectors that define the next phase of innovation: capital, natural resources, time and life. By specializing in Banking & FinanceEnergy & EngineeringTechnology and Life Sciences, GQR adds value to the world by identifying talent that transcends boundaries.

Read More About GQR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you work for a Hospital or Healthcare System? Discover how our team is supporting other organizations like you, through the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn More