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Nepal has made significant progress in improving health outcomes in recent years. However, the country continues to face challenges in providing access to quality healthcare, particularly in rural and remote areas. One of the critical factors contributing to this challenge is the shortage and dissatisfaction of healthcare workers, particularly nurses. This essay will explore the reasons for the shortage of healthcare workers in Nepal and suggest strategies to improve the training and retention of healthcare workers, including addressing the dissatisfaction of nurses.

Shortage of Healthcare Workers in Nepal:

Nepal is currently facing a severe shortage of healthcare workers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the country has only 0.7 doctors and 3.2 nurses per 1,000 population, which is significantly lower than the WHO- recommended minimum of 2.3 doctors and nurses per 1,000 population (1). The shortage of healthcare workers is most pronounced in rural and remote areas, where access to healthcare is already limited.

Several factors contribute to the shortage of healthcare workers in Nepal. Firstly, there is a limited number of healthcare training institutions in the country, leading to a low supply of trained healthcare workers. Secondly, there is a high level of migration of healthcare workers to other countries, attracted by higher salaries and better working conditions. Thirdly, healthcare workers face challenges in accessing professional development and training opportunities, leading to limited career advancement opportunities.

Improving Training and Retention of Healthcare Workers:

To address the shortage of healthcare workers in Nepal, the following strategies can be implemented:

Increasing the Number of Healthcare Training Institutions: The government can increase investment in healthcare training institutions to increase the number of trained healthcare workers.

Providing Incentives for Rural Service: The government can provide incentives for healthcare workers to work in rural and remote areas, such as salary top-ups, transportation, and housing allowances.

Improving Working Conditions: Improving the working conditions of healthcare workers can help reduce dissatisfaction and turnover rates. This includes providing appropriate staffing levels, adequate equipment and supplies, and a supportive work environment.

Enhancing Professional Development and Training Opportunities: Providing opportunities for professional development and training can help healthcare workers advance their careers and increase job satisfaction. This includes access to continuing education programs, mentoring, and leadership development opportunities.

Addressing the Dissatisfaction of Nurses:

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare workforce, and addressing their dissatisfaction is crucial to retaining them in the healthcare system. The following strategies can be implemented to address the dissatisfaction of nurses in Nepal:

Increasing Salaries and Benefits: The government can increase the salaries and benefits of nurses to be commensurate with their qualifications and workload. This can help improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates.

Providing Career Advancement Opportunities: Providing opportunities for career advancement, such as specializations and management roles, can help nurses feel valued and engaged in their work.

Improving Working Conditions: Improving working conditions, including staffing levels, equipment and supplies, and supportive work environments, can help reduce job stress and improve job satisfaction.

Providing Recognition and Appreciation: Providing recognition and appreciation for the hard work of nurses can help improve job satisfaction and promote a positive work culture.


Improving the training and retention of healthcare workers, particularly nurses, is crucial to ensuring access to quality healthcare in Nepal. By increasing the number of healthcare training institutions, providing incentives for rural service, improving working conditions, and enhancing professional development and training opportunities, Nepal can attract and retain more healthcare workers. Addressing the dissatisfaction of nurses through increasing salaries and benefits, providing career advancement opportunities, improving working conditions, and providing recognition and appreciation can improve job satisfaction and promote a positive work culture in the healthcare sector. A well-trained and satisfied healthcare workforce is essential for delivering high-quality healthcare services and improving health outcomes in Nepal.


  • World Health Organization. (2016). Health workforce requirements for universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/250330/9789241511407-eng.pdf
  • Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal. (2015). Nepal Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan 2011-2016. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/workforcealliance/countries/Nepal_HRH_Strategic_Plan_2011_2016.pdf
  • Shrestha, G., & Marais, D. (2020). Migration of Nepali nurses to high-income countries: A scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(4), 1439. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17041439
  • Dhakal, S., & Gurung, A. (2021). Perception of nursing profession in Nepal. Nursing Open, 8(1), 422-431. doi: 10.1002/nop2.645
  • Bajracharya, K., et al. (2018). Workplace environment and its impact on burnout among nurses working in a tertiary care hospital in Nepal. BMC Nursing, 17(1), 17. doi: 10.1186/s12912-018-0279-y