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Tackling Nurse Shortages in OECD Countries


  • Steven Simoens
  • Mike Villeneuve
  • Jeremy Hurst


There are reports of current nurse shortages in all but a few OECD countries. With further increases in demand for nurses expected and nurse workforce ageing predicted to reduce the supply of nurses, shortages are likely to persist or even increase in the future, unless action is taken to increase flows into and reduce flows out of the workforce or to raise the productivity of nurses. This paper analyses shortages of nurses in OECD countries. It defines and describes evidence on current nurse shortages, and analyses international variability in nurse employment. Additionally, a number of demand and supply factors that are likely to influence the existence and extent of any future nurse shortages are examined. In order to resolve nurse shortages, the paper compares and evaluates policy levers that decision makers can use to increase flows of nurses into the workforce, reduce flows out of the workforce, and improve nurse retention rates. Although delayed market response may have been ... Tous les pays de l’OCDE, à l’exception de quelques-uns, font état d’une pénurie d’infirmières. Etant donné que la demande d’infirmières va vraisemblablement augmenter encore et que l’offre devrait diminuer sous l’effet du vieillissement de cette population, la pénurie est susceptible de persister, voire de s’aggraver dans l’avenir si des mesures ne sont pas prises pour accroître les flux d’entrées dans la profession et réduire le nombre de sorties, ou pour augmenter la productivité des infirmières. Ce document présente une analyse de la pénurie d’infirmières que connaissent actuellement les pays de l’OCDE. Il rend compte des données disponibles sur ce phénomène et examine les différences entre pays dans le domaine de l’emploi infirmier. Il passe également en revue un certain nombre de facteurs qui agissent du côté de la demande et de l’offre et pourraient déterminer l’existence de futures pénuries d’infirmières et l’ampleur qu’elles auront. Afin d’apporter une solution à ce ...

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Simoens & Mike Villeneuve & Jeremy Hurst, 2005. "Tackling Nurse Shortages in OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 19, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:19-en

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2009. "The Nurse Labor and Education Markets in the English-Speaking CARICOM : Issues and Options for Reform," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3160, The World Bank.
    2. Decramer, Adelien & Audenaert, Mieke & Van Waeyenberg, Thomas & Claeys, Tine & Claes, Claudia & Vandevelde, Stijn & van Loon, Jos & Crucke, Saskia, 2015. "Does performance management affect nurses’ well-being?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 98-105.
    3. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2014. "Do wage expectations influence the decision to enroll in nursing college?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100542, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Hackmann, Tobias, 2009. "Arbeitsmarkt Pflege: Bestimmung der künftigen Altenpflegekräfte unter Berücksichtigung der Berufsverweildauer," FZG Discussion Papers 40, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
    5. Alameddine, Mohamad & Laporte, Audrey & Baumann, Andrea & O'Brien-Pallas, Linda & Mildon, Barbara & Deber, Raisa, 2006. "'Stickiness' and 'inflow' as proxy measures of the relative attractiveness of various sub-sectors of nursing employment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2310-2319, November.
    6. Daniels, Frieda & Laporte, Audrey & Lemieux-Charles, Louise & Baumann, Andrea & Onate, Kanecy & Deber, Raisa, 2012. "Retaining nurses: The impact of Ontario's “70% Full-Time Commitment”," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 54-65.
    7. Dussault, Gilles, 2008. "The health professions and the performance of future health systems in low-income countries: Support or obstacle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2088-2095, May.

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