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The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, has reported on a series of conferences to determine the role and challenges of nurses around the world. Called Arista3, the conferences included five sessions held in various international locations between 2000 and 2003.


One key finding was that although the nursing shortage is global, its causes differ by region.


* United States and Canada: an aging nursing workforce.


* Africa and the Near East: deaths among nurses related to acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS).


* newly independent states (such as countries that were once part of the Soviet Union): recruitment of nurses out of the region.



The report also notes some interesting cultural variations. For example, Pacific Rim nurses often must balance traditional Eastern health care practices with those of Western medicine. For a summary of findings (available free) and the full report (available for a fee), go to