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A critical review of the nursing shortage in Malaysia


Barnett, AP and Namasivayam, P and Narudin, DAA, A critical review of the nursing shortage in Malaysia, International Nursing Review, 57, (1) pp. 32-39. ISSN 1466-7657 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1466-7657.2009.00784.x


Objective:  This paper describes and critically reviews steps taken to address the nursing workforce shortage in Malaysia. Background:  To address the shortage and to build health care capacity, Malaysia has more than doubled its nursing workforce over the past decade, primarily through an increase in the domestic supply of new graduates. Methods:  Government reports, policy documents and ministerial statements were sourced from the Ministry of Health Malaysia website and reviewed and analysed in the context of the scholarly literature published about the health care workforce in Malaysia and more generally about the global nursing shortage. Results:  An escalation in student numbers and the unprecedented number of new graduates entering the workforce has been associated with other impacts that have been responded to symptomatically rather than through workplace reform. Whilst growing the domestic supply of nurses is a critical key strategy to address workforce shortages, steps should also be taken to address structural and other problems of the workplace to support both new graduates and the retention of more experienced staff. Conclusion:  Nursing shortages should not be tackled by increasing the supply of new graduates alone. The creation of a safe and supportive work environment is important to the long-term success of current measures taken to grow the workforce and retain nurses within the Malaysian health care system.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Malaysia;Nurses;Occupational Health;Work Environment;Workforce Shortages
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Occupational health
UTAS Author:Barnett, AP (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
UTAS Author:Namasivayam, P (Dr Pathmavathy Namasivayam)
ID Code:67128
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2011-02-25
Last Modified:2018-07-20

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