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Pandemic Exposes Urgent Need for More Nurses Worldwide, WHO Says

A nurse dresses in personal protective equipment on a ward for Covid-19 positive patients at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on April 2. 

A nurse dresses in personal protective equipment on a ward for Covid-19 positive patients at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, on April 2. 

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief an urgent need for more nurses worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

There will be a global shortage of 4.6 million nurses by 2030 without more investment in the profession, the WHO projected in a report. The number of nursing graduates needs to increase by an average of 8% a year, and governments should address issues such as pay, training, career opportunities and working conditions to retain them in the field, the report said.