Comparative Analysis of Nursing Shortage

  • Lauren Littlejohn Winston Salem State University
  • Jacquelyn Campbell John Hopkins University
  • Janice Collins-McNeil Winston Salem State University Winston Salem, NC
Keywords: Nursing, shortage, Comparative


Background: The nursing shortage is a global challenge, affecting every country in the world. With this shortage, patients are suffering because the healthcare workforce is not prepared to deal with their health needs. Within each country, the nursing shortage is caused by numerous factors that ultimately cause a decrease in the quality of health care received. However, little is known about the global causes of a shrinking professional nurse workforce. The purpose of this paper is to describe what the nursing shortage means in three countries: United States (US), Philippines, and South Africa. In addition, the paper will provide useful information specific to the three countries to further understand global issues affecting the nursing shortage.

Methods: A literature review was performed by four researchers using a peer-reviewed search strategy. Published literature was identified by searching the following bibliographic databases: with in-process records via OVID; Sage; PubMed; and CINAHL (2002–present). The main search concepts were global nursing shortage, international nursing, nurse migration, brain drain, and health care systems.

Results: The nursing shortage in the US, Philippines and South Africa are each different however, they all share similar effects on health care systems in each country.

Conclusion: The global nursing shortage is relevant and warrants further investigation and appropriate interventions to ultimately alleviate the nursing shortage and prevent an international public health crisis.

Author Biographies

Lauren Littlejohn, Winston Salem State University

Lauren Littlejohn, BSN, RN

Winston Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr Dr

Campus Box 18792

Winston Salem, NC 27110

Jacquelyn Campbell, John Hopkins University

John Hopkins College of Nursing

John Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Janice Collins-McNeil, Winston Salem State University Winston Salem, NC




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How to Cite
Littlejohn, L., Campbell, J., & Collins-McNeil, J. (2012). Comparative Analysis of Nursing Shortage. International Journal of Nursing, 1(1), 21-26. Retrieved from
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