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Nursing in India: the bleak current scenario, hoping for a better future

June 9, 2011

Titash Roy Choudhury

Currently, India is facing a shortage of more than million nurses, the gap between the increasing demand for nurses and the falling supply of them is widening every month and this scenario needs to be rectified. Nursing is a key component behind running a good hospital and that is being neglected at this moment.

Initiatives have to be taken from within the medical system to create a more profitable situation for nurses and one such initiative was taken by Fortis Healthcare (India) Ltd (FHIL), who had recently organised a National Conference on the Future of Nursing in India, which was attended by nurses from all over the country.

At the inaugural session of this conference we saw dignitaries from all fields of healthcare take the stage and speak on this grave issue with utmost care and concern. All the speakers unanimously believed that nursing is a crucial factor for effective delivery of healthcare services and he believes that India will be the harbinger of changes in the profession of nursing in future for the entire world. A nurse looks after the holistic well being of a patient and tries to cure not only physically but mentally and spiritually also.

But be it the public health or curative health, the input of nurses to the value of healthcare is massively understated.

“The major reason behind such low number of nurses available in India is the presence of only handful of training schools and institutes for nurses in India,” said Anshu Prakash, Principal Secretary-Health & Family Welfare, Delhi NCT.

Bimla Kapoor, Director, IGNOU, on behalf of the entire nursing fraternity echoed some of the harsh realities of the situation today and pointed out the lackadaisical approach of Indian authorities in uplifting this noble profession. She appreciates the efforts done for the nurses in the international market and acknowledges the motivation provided by them.

 The two-day National Conference had resulted in the preparation of a roadmap where measures have been suggested by a panel of 40 nurses, which will be presented to the health ministry soon. The speakers also presented some of their own suggestions for a bright future of nursing, which included apt use of technology and encouragement of male nurses and more specialised training of nurses.

Dr Giridhar Gyani, CEO, Quality Council of India, mentioned how they have included a nurse superintendent in their assessment team for accreditation. And Fortis itself has undertaken several initiatives where they have set up training institutes and various programmes for the nurses. So the first step towards improvement has already begun, both on the part of the government and the private hospitals, but the real challenge will be sustaining this growth and recreating a better future for nursing.

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