In a private nursing home in Alwar, about 170 km from the Indian capital New Delhi, 51-year-old Mani has been pulling 12-hour night shifts—typically, a one-week-a-month affair—for the past two weeks. Handling all critical-care labour and delivery cases, she sees almost 10X as many patients as a typical nurse.
“Considering the long working hours in the clinical practice, I thought maybe I should switch to teaching,” an exhausted Mani told The Ken. She insisted that we only use her first name to protect her identity.
The dearth of nurses in India means more workload for those like Mani. So, it’s only natural for her to consider switching to another profession—in this case, teaching at a nursing institute. But even among India’s nursing colleges, there is an acute shortage of nursing faculty.
Most nursing institutions struggle to maintain even the stipulated 1:10 teacher-student ratio, according to Dr Judith Noronha, dean at the department of obstetrical and gynaecological nursing, Manipal College of Nursing.
Even though Mani saw an opportunity in teaching, she decided against pursuing it, as the pay was “worse”. Not that continuing to work as a nurse in a private nursing home improved her financial status much.
After 31 years, Mani earns only Rs 31,000 (US$ 379.09) per month as a senior staff nurse in a private nursing home. And as an assistant nursing professor with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Nursing, she would make only Rs 15,000–20,000 (US$183.43–244.58) with her experience.
Clearly, nursing as a profession is falling out of favour in the country. So, nurses are increasingly increasingly orfonline exporting indian healthcare workers Read more migrating to foreign countries seeking better opportunities. After the Philippines Philippines The Ken The Philippines has a 100k nursing shortage but not for the lack of nurses Read more , India is the second-largest second-largest Indian healthcare workers world Read more country from where nurses are migrating.