Globalization, Commodification and Mass Transplant of Nurses: Part 1

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The world is currently facing a shortage of nurses and this is predicted to worsen as a result of the looming en masse retirement of the so-called ‘baby-boom’ generation. Moreover, this problem is foreseen to be far more pronounced in Western countries where the post-Second World War ‘baby-boom’ demographic was (and is) most prominent. Data collected by various international organizations illustrates a corresponding recent increase in nurse migration and that such mass transplantation inevitably involves the unidirectional movement of nurses from developing countries to developed Western countries. As a result, this two-part article examines this mass transplantation within the context of globalization. Part one provides compelling international data regarding the global shortage of nurses and the corresponding increase in nurse migration from ‘underdeveloped’ to ‘Western’ countries. It then situates the phenomenon in the context of global health and highlights the extent of the debate so far, such as it is.


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