The Strategic Importance of National Investment in Nursing Professionals in the Region of the Americas
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Nurses are key players in health promotion and disease prevention and the backbone of health care systems worldwide. Nurses work on the front lines of disease prevention, health promotion, and health management and are often the unsung heroes in health care facilities and emergency response. Despite the critical role they play in health care, there is a nursing shortage across the world that will affect the delivery of competent nursing care. This document highlights key action points for targeted investment in the nursing workforce and calls on Member States to strengthen nursing within the context of their own country efforts. Suggestions for action and strategies for strengthening the nursing workforce in primary health care services through investment in education, jobs, leadership, and service delivery are provided. It also provides information for country stakeholders with a strategic role in addressing health access barriers and attending to the health needs of the population, especially groups living in conditions of vulnerability, in rural and remote communities, and in places with a low density of other health professionals.The objective is to facilitate the efforts of stakeholders in implementing resources required to help countries in the Region of the Americas advance universal health and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by advancing nursing workforce capacity. This includes governments and policymakers as well as academic institutions and educators; nursing professionals; nursing unions, councils, and professional associations; and regulatory bodies. This policy brief was developed by PAHO through new analyses, expert consensus, and reference to existing PAHO and WHO guidance and literature on investments in the nursing workforce in the Region of the Americas.
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