Overview of the Nursing Workforce in Latin America




Malvarez SM, Agudelo MCC


Pan American Health Organization, International Council of Nurses




Human resources become increasingly relevant in this context. Health human resource (HHR) is currently experiencing a three-fold problem, which encompasses old issues, together with the effects of reform, and the consequences of globalisation. This includes the workforce crisis in nursing which, facing all kinds of difficulties, requires complex in-depth analysis, synergies and alliances in order to ensure quality nursing services. This paper was drafted by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) as the basis for the examination of this important aspect of health care in the region of Latin America, and as a contribution to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The analysis takes as its framework Pedro Brito Quintana’s concept of field of human resources for health. That is, the health care workforce is structured and dynamised by all its aspects, activating processes, tensions and conflicts in accordance with the delivery of health care services. The four central aspects consist of work, education, the labour market and professionalisation processes. These variables are subject to and produce policies, regulations and management mechanisms. Different parties participate with various interests, abilities and degrees of power in the context of their social dynamics. [author’s description]


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