Challenges Facing Nursing Profession in Saudi Arabia

Sahar Mansour Lamadah, Hala Yehia Sayed


Saudi Arabia, like many areas of the world, is challenged by a nursing shortage. The World Health Organization (2004), reported that there is only 40 nurses for every 10,000 of the Saudi Arabia population. In 2010, it was found that there is a chronic nursing shortage of 30% that is worsened by heavy migration of nurses. The Saudi literature links the shortage in Saudi nurses to socio-cultural factors found to influence the prevailing negative images and perceived low status of nursing. Community image, family disagreement, cultural and communal values, long working hours, mixing with members of the opposite gender, and the worry of not being a "marriageable" prospect were the main reasons why Saudi females did not choose nursing as a career (Miligi & Selim 2013). The Saudi Arabian government has committed  enormous resources to improve health care, with the ultimate goal of providing free and accessible healthcare services for every Saudi national and expatriate working within the public sector (Al-Dossary et al., 2008). However, the nursing needs of Saudi Arabia far exceed the supply of Saudi nurses. Despite continued efforts to increase the number of Saudi nurses, by 2010, expatriate nurses still constituted 74% of the total nursing workforce in Saudi Arabia (Ministry of Health Annual Report 2010).  In Saudi Arabia, nursing is a less desirable career choice for Saudi nationals in comparison to other professions. There are a number of challenges facing nurse practitioners (Tumulty 2001).

Keywords: Challenges, Nursing profession

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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