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Where have all the nurses gone?

Shields, Linda; Watson, Roger


Linda Shields


Objective: The aim of this article is to highlight a crisis that has developed in UK nursing. Setting: The nursing workforce worldwide is diminishing and the UK nursing workforce is no exception. Subjects: Registered Nurses. Primary argument: While steps are being taken in the UK to alleviate the nursing shortage by funding more places in university nursing departments, this initiative is no longer viable due to the financial crisis in the NHS, which funds nursing education. The significant influx of international nurses to the UK is likely to be a short-term solution to a long-term problem as this incipient form of neo-colonialism is seen to deplete developing countries of their nurses, and international nursing bodies condemn it. Conclusions: The outcome of the crisis may well lead to the disappearance of nurses from the UK NHS workforce as they are replaced by the cheaper alternative of health care assistants and technicians. This can only be to the detriment of patients.


Shields, L., & Watson, R. (2008). Where have all the nurses gone?. The Australian journal of advanced nursing : a quarterly publication of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation, 26(1), 95-101

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 30, 2008
Publication Date Nov 30, 2008
Print ISSN 0813-0531
Electronic ISSN 1447-4328
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 95-101
Keywords UK; policy; NHS
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