1. Baker, Kathy A. PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

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Recently it was announced that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is serving as patron of the three-year global campaign, Nursing Now ( Nursing Now is a collaboration between the International Council of Nurses (ICN) ( and the World Health Organization (WHO) (, and funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, an independent charitable trust based in the United Kingdom (U.K.). The collaboration was formed in response to the 2016 Triple Impact report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health in the U.K. ( The report identified that a focus on developing the discipline of nursing worldwide would: (1) improve health, (2) promote gender equality, and (3) support economic growth.

Kathy A. Baker, PhD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowKathy A. Baker, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

The Nursing Now 2020 campaign is focused on raising the profile and status of the nursing profession worldwide ( According to the WHO website, "The campaign will focus on five core areas: (1) ensuring that nurses and midwives have a more prominent voice in health policy-making; (2) encouraging greater investment in the nursing workforce; (3) recruiting more nurses into leadership positions; (4) conducting research that helps determine where nurses can have the greatest impact; and (5) sharing of best nursing practices (


The worldwide nursing shortage is worrisome. According to (an employment website) (May 12, 2016), "Today 8 of the world's 12 largest economies have a serious nurse shortage. Russia has just half of the nurses it needs, Japan and the US have only about a third, and the UK-most worryingly of all-has less than a fifth" ( In the United States (U.S.), the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 439,300 new jobs in nursing for the years 2014-2024, at the top of the list for "most new jobs requiring a bachelor's degree." In fact, over 1,088,400 total job openings in nursing are projected for the U.S., including 649,100 needed as replacements (i.e. retirees, resignations, job changes, etc.) ( The implications for population health worldwide necessitates that the predicted global nursing shortage be addressed effectively.


At the beginning of this century, recruitment of nurses from developing countries to industrialized countries was used as an initial strategy to address the nursing shortage. However, migration of nurses from one country to another results in shortages in the source country (Aiken, Buchan, Sochalski, Nichols, & Powell, 2004; Buchan, Parkin, & Sochalski, 2003; Kingma, 2002; Ross, Polsky, & Sochalski, 2005). Additional factors such as the aging nursing population (including nursing faculty), low professional status of nursing in some countries, and stressful work conditions are other cited reasons for an international nursing shortage (Aiken et al., 2004; Butt, 2015; Kingma, 2002; Muhammad, 2015; Wang, Whitehead, & Bayes, 2017).


Nursing colleagues, we must take the responsibility to actively recruit students into our discipline. We can also actively engage by lobbying our legislators and employers to support funding for nursing education including tuition support for students (pursuing either practice or academia), financial support for schools of nursing to build adequate facilities to educate students, and fostering development of innovative pathways for nursing recruits to enter the profession. We must also contribute by assuring our work environments empower nurses to practice to their full scope in a collegial, collaborative, ethical, and innovative culture of inclusiveness, value, and respect.


Achieving these strategies requires all of us to commit to actively engaging in recruitment to the profession. The Duchess of Cambridge has endorsed the critical value of nurses for the future of healthcare. Nursing Now draws attention to the discipline worldwide. What can you do as an individual to address the global nursing shortage? What can we do collectively? A global nursing shortage is everyone's concern. Make it one of yours.


To support Nursing Now, go to If you would like to view Kate Middleton's presentation, see "Watch Kate Middleton Make Passionate Speech to Launch Nursing Now Campaign" (




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