In this piece, we will take a look at the 16 countries that produce the best nurses. For more countries, head on over to 5 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses.

Nursing is one of the more important and underrated industries in the healthcare sector. While most attention, particularly in America, is often focused on doctors and the high fees that they pay for medical school only to make high salaries in an expensive healthcare system, nurses are the backbone of any hospital. While a doctor’s job is to diagnose a patient, it’s the nurses that are involved in taking care of sick people and ensuring that the treatments prescribed by the doctors are actually administered.

At the same time, it’s not easy to become a nurse. In fact, according to the American Nurses Association, there are several qualifications that are required to become a nurse and become eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)-RN. These range from a simple diploma to a two year associate’s degree, or a four year bachelor’s degree. Yet, this isn’t the end of nursing education, as those interested can even pursue postgraduate programs such as a Master’s or even a Ph.D. These varying levels of education also result in different kinds of nurses, with each having a fixed set of educational qualifications. These include simple Registered Nurses who perform simple exams and administer medications, Licensed Practical Nurses who check for vital signs and ensure patient comfort, and Advanced Practical Registered Nurses who are required to hold a Master’s degree and can prescribe medication, administer anesthesia, and provide gynecological care.

Within the industry itself, the job requirements are changing as well. Gone are the days when a nurse could only take your blood pressure and ensure that your bedding was comfortable and your medication was timely administered. Now, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while there is no entry level education required to become a nursing assistant or an orderly, with the annual median pay being a rather low $30,290, the demand for Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, as well as their salary, is booming. The agency outlines that on a median level, an anesthetist, midwife, or nursing practitioner made a cool $123,780 per year in 2021. At the same time, the minimum entry level education required for this career is a master’s degree, and more importantly, there is a severe shortage of these practitioners since while the average rate of job growth for the healthcare sector is 5%, for nursing specialists, the growth rate is nearly eight times this as it is expected to sit at a strong 40% between 2021 and 2031, with 118,600 jobs added over the forecasted period. If you’re curious about the job market for Registered Nurses, the BLS outlines that, on the median, a registered nurse made $77,600 annually in 2021 and the field requires a bachelor’s degree as its entry level education.

Building on this, the National Academy of Medicine points out that advances in the nursing sector have also transformed hospitals’ ability to manage their daily tasks and improve the quality of patient services. It reveals that some changes that good quality nurses have helped with are reducing the time duration of hospital stays, decreasing physician workload, improving healthcare access for the underprivileged, providing greater access to specialty care, and enabling a greater role of technology within hospitals. These changes have also been spurred by the growing role of technology in nearly every sector, with nurses now playing a crucial role in informatics across intra hospital workflow management, by pursuing jobs such as informatics manager, informatics analyst, clinical analyst, and nursing and clinical informatics specialist.

Finally, in terms of monetary value, Data Bridge Market Research believes that the nursing care market was worth $1.1 billion in 2021 and will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% between then and 2029 to sit at $1.79 billion by the end of the forecast period. This growth will be driven by a larger chunk of the elderly population, as well as severe health disorders among the elderly.

16 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses

16 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses

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Our Methodology

We used Quacquarelli Symonds’s (QS) list of the world’s top nursing universities to pick out which countries have the best nurses. After all, a quality practical education is synonymous with quality practitioners. We scanned the QS university ranking for nursing schools covering the top 75 institutions, to sift out countries with the most top quality universities. In case of a tie, the universities’ H-index Citation scores were used, and if the tie persisted, then the employer reputation of their graduates was relied upon to finalize the list. The H-index is a useful tool for evaluating quality since it measures the citational impact of an institution’s research and removes uncited papers in determining rankings.

16 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses

16. Kingdom of Spain

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

The Kingdom of Spain is a European country with a $2.2 trillion GDP and a per capita income of $46,511. The Universitat de Barcelona is the only Spanish university in the top 75 universities, and it is also one of the oldest universities in the world as well since it was set up in 1450. Overall, the university ranks 184 in the QS ranking, indicating that the nursing school is better than the university as a whole.

15. Denmark

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

Denmark is a prosperous European country with a $411 billion GDP and a high per capita income of $69,273. Its Aarhus University ranks at 51 on the QS list, and it offers a Master’s degree in nursing. Registered nurses in Denmark are required to have a BA degree, and overall, nurses in the country can earn as much as 43,000 kroner per month.

14. Republic of Korea (ROK)

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

Republic of Korea (ROK), or South Korea, is an Asian country commonly known as South Korea. South Korea’s Seoul National University is ranked high in the world’s list of best nursing schools, and it offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. To qualify for a nursing exam, an individual must take either a three year diploma or a four year degree. At the same time, South Korea has fewer nurses when compared to other OECD countries.

13. New Zealand

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

New Zealand is an island country in the Pacific Ocean with a GDP per capita of $50,851. According to the government, senior nurses in New Zealand can earn up to $144,000 per year, and registered nurses in the country are required to complete an approved bachelor’s program. The University of Auckland is ranked at 42 in the QS list, and its School of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.

12. Federative Republic of Brazil

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

The Federative Republic of Brazil, or simply Brazil, is a South and Latin American country with a $3.9 trillion GDP – one of the largest in the world. Brazil also has one of the largest nursing workforces in the world, with more than two million nurses working in the country. Nurses in Brazil can make as much as 117,996 BRL a year, and generally require a three to four year academic degree.

11. Republic of Finland

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

The Republic of Finland is a European country. Its University of Turku is quite highly ranked, placed at 28 in the global list of best nursing schools. Turku is Finland’s first English language university and its Department of Nursing Science offers bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Registered nurses require at least 3.5 years of study,

10. Kingdom of Belgium

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 1

The Kingdom of Belgium is a European country with a $723 billion GDP. Nurses in Belgium are required to have a diploma at the minimum, and Belgium’s Ghent University is one of the highest ranked nursing schools in the world in terms of research. It offers a master’s program in nursing and midwifery.

9. Republic of Ireland

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 2

The Republic of Ireland is a sovereign European nation with a $633 billion GDP and the third highest per capita income in the world. Nurses make 45,000 Euros on average in Ireland, and their starting salary which stands at approximately 31,109 Euros is higher than the starting salary of nurses in the U.K. – Ireland’s closest neighbor.

8. Republic of Singapore

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 3

n The Republic of Singapore is one of the most prosperous countries in the world through its purchasing power parity GDP per capita of $131,580 – the second highest in the world. Singapore’s National University of Singapore (NUS) is among the top forty nursing schools in the world, and its Alice Lee Center of Nursing Studies offers several undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programs. Nurses can earn up to 60,000 Singaporean dollars a year in Singapore.

7. Kingdom of Sweden

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 3

The Kingdom of Sweden is another prosperous European nation, which is also one of the most developed countries in the world. Its Karolinska Institutet is among the top twenty best nursing schools in the world, and it offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Sweden requires a three year education for a nursing career, with starting salaries as high as 30,000 Krona per month.

6. Republic of China (ROC)

Number of Universities in QS Top 75 List: 4

The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, is an island region in the South China Sea. It has four nursing universities in the top 75, with two of these being in the top 50. Nurses in Taiwan have to complete at least a three years degree program in order to become registered nurses.

Click to continue reading and see 5 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses.

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Disclosure: None. 16 Countries that Produce the Best Nurses is originally published on Insider Monkey.


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