A narrative review on the effect of economic downturns on the nursing labour market: implications for policy and planning
Article published in Human Resources for Health 2012, 10:23 (20 August 2012)
Economic downturns and recession lead to budget cuts and service reductions in the healthcare sector which often precipitate layoffs and hiring freezes. Nurses, being the largest professional group in healthcare, are strongly affected by cost reductions. Economic downturns destabilize the nursing labour market with potential negative outcomes, including serious shortages, extending beyond the recessionary period. The objectives of this manuscript are to provide an overview of the potential short- and long-run impact of economic downturns on the supply and demand of nurses, and present healthcare decision makers with a framework to enhance their ability to strategically manage their human resources through economic cycles.