In a recent statement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it has come to light, that the problem regarding shortage of trained nurses and midwives in India is not that there are less nursing personnel, but that the distribution is skewed.
On official records, there are 8,85,383 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM), 21,29,820 registered nurses and registered midwives (RN and RM), and 56,644 Lady Health Visitors (LHV). Around 8,500 nursing institutions in the country produce over 3 lakh nursing personnel every year.
In the country, the overall nurse to patient ratio is 1.7. However the problem is that in some areas the ratio is high, and in the other low. Ratio varies from state to state, district to district, and institution to institution.
The government has rolled out Midwifery Services Initiative in the country in order to enhance the quality of care. They have also launched courses on nurse practitioners and midwifery. Also, in accordance to a supreme court judgement, MoHFW constituted a committee to look into grievances of nurses in the private sector and provided legislations and guidelines on the basis of inputs from the committee.
At present there are 8,692 institutions in the country that offer ANM, GNM, B.Sc Nursing, M.Sc Nursing, PBBSC Nursing, NPCC, PBDP. And for the last admission session, they had a total of 3,23,113 seats.
For ANM, there are 275 government institutions with 8563 seats, and 1615 private institutions with 46385 seats. In total, there are 1890 ANM colleges with 54948 seats.
GNM course is offered by 317 government institutions with 14850 seats, and 2838 private institutions with 113771 seats. Here, the overall colleges for GNM are 3155 that have 128621 seats.
B.Sc Nursing is imparted by 147 government institutions that have 8345 seats, and 1811 private institutes that have 90404 seats. In all there are 1958 B.Sc Nursing colleges having 98749 seats.
The course M.Sc Nursing is taught at 64 government colleges with 1356 seats, and 586 private colleges with 11599 seats. Overall there are 650 institutions with 12955 seats.
Then PBBSC Nursing is taught by 45 government institutions with 1505 seats, and 720 private ones with 22535 seats. In all there are 765 colleges with 24040 seats.
NPCC (Nurse Practitioner in Critical Care) is offered in 3 government establishments with 45 seats, and 54 private ones with 765 seats. Totalling 57 institutes and 810 seats.
PBDP is offered by 76 government institutions with 1130 seats, and 141 private ones with 1860 seats. This course is thus available at 217 institutions with a total of 2990 seats.
The government has already approved setting up 112 ANM and 136 GNM schools in the country, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of strengthening and upgradation of nursing services.
Also, states send proposals for setting of schools and colleges of nursing from time to time. At present, the government has approved setting up new schools and colleges numbering 5 in Rajasthan, 3 in Jharkhand, 2 in Gujarat, 2 in West Bengal, 2 in Tamil Nadu, 1 in Himachal Pradesh, 1 in Manipur, and 1 in Uttar Pradesh.