What is the contribution of private training institutions on nurse production and availability in rural areas?

October 2016

Nursing shortages are a critical health workforce challenge and are likely to be exacerbated in coming years by changing population demographics and healthcare needs. As pressures grow, shortages will intensify the unequal distribution of nurses both within and between countries. Currently, many countries are experiencing a rapid expansion of private nurse training institutions.

RESYST Consortium conducted research in Thailand, Kenya and India (Tamil Nadu state) to examine the emerging role of private nurse training institutions and how they compare with public institutions in terms of: resources and financing, the quality of teaching and students and students’ exposure to rural health. In India and Thailand, the research also investigated differences between graduates’ employment choices and their likelihood of working in public or private facilities after graduation. 

This sheet presents the following key findings:

  • Private nurse training institutions are unlikely to reduce nurse shortages in under-served areas.
  • In most contexts, public sector institutions are best placed to respond to a country’s health workforce requirements.
  • In some countries there is poor absorption of nurses into the public health sector. 
Health workforce Private sector