The new report Sustain and Retain 2022 and beyond has revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic has made the fragile state of the global nursing workforce much worse, putting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) aim of Universal Health Coverage at serious risk. It suggests up to 13 million more nurses will be required over the next decade, the equivalent of almost half of the world’s current 28 million-strong workforce.

Lead author of the report Professor James Buchan of the University of Technology Sydney, (UTS) and the University of Edinburgh (and ENC22 keynote speaker), said: “COVID-19 has had a terrible impact on the nursing workforce in terms of the personal effect it has had on individual nurses, and the problems it has exposed within many healthcare systems. Pre-existing shortages exacerbated the impact of the pandemic and burned-out nurses are leaving because they cannot carry on any longer. Governments have not reacted effectively to the growing worldwide shortage of nurses, and now they must respond to the pandemic, which is an alarming game-changer that requires immediate action.”