Investing in Nurses is a Prerequisite for Ensuring Universal Health Coverage

Ann E. Kurth, Sheena Jacob, Allison P. Squires, Anne Sliney, Sheila Davis, Suzanne Stalls, Carmen J. Portillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nurses and midwives constitute the majority of the global health workforce and the largest health care expenditure. Efficient production, successful deployment, and ongoing retention based on carefully constructed policies regarding the career opportunities of nurses, midwives, and other providers in health care systems are key to ensuring universal health coverage. Yet nurses are constrained by practice regulations, workplaces, and career ladder barriers from contributing to primary health care delivery. Evidence shows that quality HIV care, comparable to that of physicians, is provided by trained nurses and associate clinicians, but many African countries' health systems remain dependent on limited numbers of physicians and fail to meet the demand for treatment. The World Health Organization endorses task sharing to ensure universal health coverage in HIV and maternal health, which requires an investment in nursing education, retention, and professional growth opportunities. Exemplars from Haiti, Rwanda, Republic of Georgia, and multi-country efforts are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-354
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Global nursing
  • International collaboration/cooperation
  • Nursing shortage
  • Nursing staff/supply and distribution
  • Workforce issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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