Shortage of nurses and its impact on the Indian health care delivery system remains a major concern to this day. Adding to the above problem there is an undersupply of competent public health nurses who are willing to serve in the resource-limited community health care settings. The blog is a reflection on the current status of community health nursing education in India.
With a shortage of doctors, it is the nurses and other allied health professionals who run the show in many of the primary healthcare settings in India. Nurses make up a major proportion of the health workforce. In this context we need more and more nurses who are capable of addressing the diverse healthcare needs of society. There is a shift from hospital based curative care to community based preventive and rehabilitative care, and a greater focus on giving people control over their health. Therefore, we need nurses who are equipped with specialized knowledge and skills in public health to work in community healthcare settings.
But the reality shows a different picture. Currently in India, diplomas, undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate level courses are offered in nursing. There are also various specialities and sub specialities in nursing at a Masters level. Many nursing educational institutions even the reputed ones in India are contemplating stopping their Masters programmes in community health nursing since there are no takers. If this trend continues, there is a possibility that community health nursing will become extinct in the near future.
Link to Meena’s blog on BMJ: Click here