The need for health workforce surge capacity highlighted in the latest issue of AJAN

Mature Sad, sick, overworked, female mature health care worker looking through at the camera

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed great strain on the world’s health workforce.

For health systems in many countries to respond effectively during this pandemic and in response to any future outbreaks, it is vital health workforce surge capacity is enhanced.

However many nations do not have a large enough and currently registered nursing workforce to do this, resulting in many countries rapidly re-registering and recruiting nurses who have retired or left the profession due to the impact of the pandemic.

In the latest guest editorial on the AJAN website, Mary Chiarella and David Stewart discuss an approach and framework for emergency registration, they developed to guide temporary emergency re-registration of nurses who have been away from practice.

The framework was developed for the International Council of Nurses and communicated to national nursing associations.

In the editorial, Ms Chiarella and Mr Stewart argue that to protect the public, the nursing profession, and trust in the profession, it is essential a framework based on the evidence and the outline they have provided be considered in developing a structure for emergency registration.

The framework they have developed consists of a matrix of interrelated factors which are taken into account when determining who might be eligible to return to practice, what level of work they might be able to undertake, and what further education or preparation they might require. The matrix is then used in combination with informal advice and a scoring system, which assist their workforce planning.

The framework, while informal, has been shared as guidance with nurse leaders in many countries and all WHO regions across the world.

To read more detail about the framework and approach and the research behind it head to AJAN where you will also find other research articles and discussion papers on a wide variety of topics related to nursing and midwifery practice.

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