There is currently a worldwide nursing shortage. In 2013, the International Council of Nurses Workforce Forum found that most industrialized countries are or will be imminently facing a nursing shortage due to the increased demands for healthcare.
A warning has been issued as inadequate nurse staffing levels pose a risk to patients and society . According to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008–2018, registered nurses (RNs) are the fastest growing segment of the profession, with more than 274,000 RN positions expected in hospitals nationwide over the next ten years .
A survey performed by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that 77% of developed countries are facing a nursing staff shortage, with nearly all of the countries relying on nurses from abroad to ease this situation. As in developed countries, the global nursing shortage is also apparent in developing countries. In 2002, hospitals throughout South Africa estimated vacancy rates of 30%.