TCS iON Learning Hub | February 01,2023
Nurturing the New Nurses

India, a country of more than 140 billion people. An estimated 29 people in every 1000 are hospitalised here daily for various reasons.[1] Irrespective of the reason for the hospitalisation, patients come with a pair of expectations, care and cure! While they look up to the doctors for their cure, there is just one vessel for providing care: our nurses. That is why there is a saying that Nurses are the heart of our healthcare system!

Unfortunately, the nurse brigade of our nation faces several hurdles. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends having three nurses per 1000 people. However, this number is only 1.7 per 1000 in India. To fulfil the stated norm, India must add at least 4.3 million nurses by 2024. [2] The gap is massive. This gap is not just in our own country; there is an overall demand for nurses globally.

While one data shows the enormous demand, another set also suggests that India leads the world in churning out nurses. The two data sets lead to one important question: if India produces the highest number of nurses, why does India face a gap? That is because the current healthcare system demands qualified and industry-ready nurses. These nurses must be able to handle the latest equipment, be digitally equipped and have a clear idea of all global trends in medicine, healthcare and managing patients. Institutions often find fresh college graduates lacking in these fields. While they have theoretical knowledge, they get no practical exposure. Qualification is often not enough for a profession like nursing. Freshers lack the industry and digital exposure they need. How nurses deal with patients has a monumental impact on their recovery journey, including physical and mental health. Nurses also have an immense influence on the brand name of healthcare institutions.

The journey for nurses is also not easy. They have always been at the forefront of fighting epidemics, pandemics, chronic diseases and critical situations. However, they face several professional challenges that remain unaddressed. These challenges include -

  • Long shifts

  • Adapting to constantly changing schedules

  • Emotional involvement with patients

  • Physically demanding duties

  • Constant exposure to illness and chemicals

  • Changing technologies

  • Ill-treatment from patients, and many more.

A fresh graduate from a nursing college is motivated to serve the profession she chose: but as the reality sets in, it often leads to massive demotivation and set back! They often crumble under the enormous pressure they face. These challenges make their journey difficult and discouraging.

It is imperative to address all these challenges to create a healthcare system empowered with talented nurses. We need to build a pool of skilled and competent healthcare professionals with enough exposure to the real world. It would be easier for the young nurses to survive the professional thrust and provide the best services. They need proper guidance, mentoring, hands-on practice sessions, and an introduction to global standards on various medical necessities. They also need as easy access to jobs after they receive their degrees.

The good news does exist, though. Concern over the difficulties our nurses confront is growing. Institutions have begun producing several courses after realising they require assistance. These classes provide aspiring nurses with practical experiences and help them develop their skills. They can assist the nurses with placements as well as learn about various international standards.

Let's understand one thing for sure; we need nurses more than they need us. Therefore, if we can address their challenges optimally and provide them with a welcoming environment to work in, it shall benefit the entire healthcare system and each of us. Together we need to address the pain points and create a better medical facility for our patients!


[1] Infections top illness list for rural Indians, heart ailment for urbanites

[2] India in need of 4.3 million more nurses by 2024 to meet WHO norms: nurses bodies

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