J Korean Community Nurs.  2002 Dec;13(4):757-766.

A Study on the Projected Workforce for Public Health Nurses in Korea

Abstract

PURPOSE
Recently there have been many changes in health care environments in Korea To perform public health programs effectively and efficiently it is necessary to analyze and identify th demand and supply for the public health nurses. METHOD: The study analyzed experts' opinions regarding the supply of public health nurses as well as national and foreign statistical data on workforce supply of public health nurses. Two methods for estimating the amount of demand for public health nurses were used: one was applying the indicator of developed countries for public health nurses based on population: the other was to refer to regulations and/or recommended guidelines in Korea. RESULT: 1) The number of public health centers public health sub-center and primary health care posts have decreased between 1990 and 2001 from 260 to 242 1318 to 1270 2038 to 1907 respectively 2) Between 1997 and 2002 the number of public health nurses has also decreased from 5572 to 5112 3) In the case of applying regulations the number (5112) of existing public health nurses falls shortly by 942 4) In 2001 the Korean population per one public health nurse was 9262 5) In case of applying regulations the number of public health nurses required to meet the demand for health services in 2001 and 2020 is estimated at 5932 and 6347 respectively 6) In the case of applying the indicators of developed countries the number of public health nurses required to meet the demand for health service in 2001 and 2020 is estimated at 9.469 and 10.310 respectively.
CONCLUSION
AND SUGGESTIONS: Because of the importance of public health industry public health nurses have been approved as a field specialist and specialized nurse practitioner by the newly revised legal regulation there have been absence of approval of their role differentiation and capability. In addition organizational activity and insufficient number of the public health nurses have contributed to of the public health nurses have contributed to the inactive utilization of them As community public health is focused on caring individuals as well as organizations ot requires more autonomy and special skills than other fields. Therefore public health nurses need to enhance the capability as health educator consultant and information management persons through advanced education course for public health nurses. Public health nurses need to be prepared as advanced nurse practitioners by receiving advanced education courses and field experiences.

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