Models for projecting supply and demand for nurses in Israel

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Abstract

Background: Concern is growing over serious shortages in the nursing workforce and imbalance between supply and demand. Projections indicate that the demand for the nursing workforce will increase due to the aging population and an increase of the percentage of elderly people requiring assistance. Study goals: To examine the expected balance between supply and several demand projections for nurses in Israel in order to contribute to planning the nursing workforce. Methods: 1. Open interviews with key figures in the healthcare and nursing care systems; 2. Examination of supply and demand for nurses; 3. Examination of the balance between supply and demand projections. Main findings: A considerable gap was found between the supply and demand projections for registered nurses, which will increase over time according to each of the demand projection models up to 2030. All of the models indicate that the projected shortage will be significantly affected by the age at which the nurses retire. Models based on a fixed ratio of nurses or infrastructure (beds, positions) per population show a particularly great gap between demand and supply. However, a more conservative model (based on hospital utilization), that takes the system's infrastructures and limitations, as well as the growing population and changes in its composition into account, without an increase in the direct ratio of the number of nurses, also predict a significant shortage of nurses within 20 years. Conclusions: The gaps between the demand and supply projections indicate the need to augment the workforce in addition to the steps currently taken to recruit nursing staff and increase the number of training institutions for nurses. The relatively simple supply prediction models, which are based on available sources of information that can be easily revised, will make it possible to monitor and update projections regularly over time. The models developed in this study should help the process of long-term strategic planning for the number of nurses in Israel.

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Nirel, N., Grinstien-Cohen, O., Eyal, Y., Samuel, H., & Ben-Shoham, A. (2015). Models for projecting supply and demand for nurses in Israel. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13584-015-0043-6

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