Growth of Nursing in India – “Save one life, you are a hero and save a hundred lives, you are a nurse.” Nurse word is now not associated with the females only. This depicts the growth of nursing in India quite well. But unfortunately, the country is confronting the shortfall of 1.94 million nurses as per the INC and WHO data. Even after being at the blooming growth phase, this shortage of nurses in India is quite challenging to fulfil. There are many ups and down in the growth of nursing in India from past many years. We are going to give an idea of that.

After exploring various opportunities and overcoming different threats so far, the nursing industry in India has emerged as the most employable and recession-proof profession. Because they are the heart of the whole healthcare system and we need them in abundance. According to the latest survey of 2014, the country was having almost 1.79 million RN and midwives. And auxiliary nurses were around 786,796. The data represents the growth of nursing in India and the challenges as well.

History of Nursing in India

Before focusing on the growth, let us acquaint you with the history of nursing research in India first. The profession gets highlighted in 1861 with the influence of Florence Nightingale who is having a thorough knowledge of nursing. The growth of nursing in India has seen many opportunities and challenges so far. The first entity that starts educating women for the nursing profession in St. Stevens Hospital in 1861. And a further continuation of nursing growth in India is done by Governmental General Hospital of Madras in 1871.

Then afterwards knowing the significance of nurses role in maintaining and promoting health, the industry starts growing even more. Many new educational institutions were opened. The growth of nursing in India was actually taking its pace in the 19th century with many revolutionary activities in the field. But in addition to being a less respectful job,  unprofessional nursing skills and improper training, the nurse’s condition was not so good. Then with time, they got respect and social status as well.

Demand for Skilled and Registered Nurses in India

Nurses are the keystone of the healthcare industry. Without nurses, you cannot imagine a hospital. Doctors can only observe you, operate you, and prescribe you, that’s it.  Rest it is the nurses who stay all way around the patient and taking care of their requirements. So due to their valuable and needed service, they are in demand more.

There are various schemes which are promoting nurse education and training. Rural India is currently having a dearth of over 13,000 nurses. In India, every primary health centre needs one nurse and for every community health center, there is a need of 7 nurses at least. And according to sources, there is having a shortage of about 2.4 million nurses in 2016. Therefore even though the growth of Indian nursing industry is commendable till now, it needs some more boost to fulfil the vacancies.

Future of Nursing in India

The government needs much more efforts to promote maximum admissions in nursing colleges. And side by side, maximum nurse manpower for the country. There are some reasons like unsatisfactory salary packages, less respect, insufficiency of resources, etc which are acting as the challenges for the industry. So the government needs to take these challenges into consideration to catalyse the growth of nursing in India. More facilities must be induced to attract the youth towards joining this noble profession.

The condition is not that bad, even though it has improved. As there is a slight increase noticed in 2019 from the total number of nurses in India 2017. 2016 data depicts that there were 2,958 GNM and 1,921 ANM colleges with admission capacity of over 118406 and 54,859 students respectively. Here are some major initiatives the government and the sector need to take for full promoting growth of nursing in India.

  1. Revise the curriculum at times.
  2. Improving the education system.
  3. Ameliorating the salary packages of these nurses.
  4. Introducing new schemes to attract youth.
  5. Increasing the facilities in the sector.
  6. Taking actions to maintain the dignity of nurses.
  7. Improvising hygiene in hospitals.
  8. Opening government nurse training centres with relief for poor aspirants.


So this is the best industry you can make your career in. The perk of joining this industry there are millions of jobs waiting for you. You just need to be passionate, dedicated and committed towards your profession, rest you will grow with the growth of nursing in India and abroad as well. Yes, with your keenness to learn and enough knowledge in addition to the nursing skills, you can explore the worldwide opportunities too.

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