Almost half of India's nurses are trained in five southern states: Centre

India has 35.14 lakh registered nursing personnel, amounting to 2.06 nurses per 1,000 people, much below the WHO standards prescribing three nurses per 1,000.
Image used for representational purposes only. (File Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purposes only. (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  Nearly half of India’s nurses are trained in five southern states; Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, according to government data.

After the south, over 17 per cent of nursing colleges are in the western state of Maharashtra, which has the highest number of nursing colleges in the country at 713; followed by Rajasthan (270) and Gujarat (220). Of the 5,203 nursing colleges in India, 715 are government-run. Out of these, 40 per cent are in the southern states.

Currently, India has 35.14 lakh registered nursing personnel, amounting to 2.06 nurses per 1,000 people, much below the World Health Organization (WHO) standards prescribing three nurses per 1,000.

Karnataka has the second-highest number of nursing colleges in the country and among the southern states of India. As many as 668 nursing institutes are functioning here, followed by Tamil Nadu (345), Andhra Pradesh (278), Kerala (268), and Telangana (157), according to data shared in the parliament.

Officials said in these few years, both Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, are setting up nursing colleges. While Madhya Pradesh has 431 nursing colleges, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, has 365 nursing colleges. Officials added that more are coming up in the next two years in these two states.

The northeast and union territories like Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir have very few nursing institutes and colleges. An official said that the main reason behind the skewed regional imbalance is due to various geographical and socio-economic factors.

“These factors influence the availability and accessibility of nursing education in different regions of the country,” the official added.

In the parliament, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that since 2014, the number of nursing colleges has risen phenomenally.

“The number of nursing institutes providing undergraduate courses increased from 1641 in 2014 to 2229 in 2023 (upto March 23), reporting an increase of 36 per cent, and similarly graduate seats also increased from 83192 to 116595 reporting an increase of 40 per cent during the same period.”

Officials said the ministry is taking various steps to ensure that they can overcome the shortage and regional disparity. of nursing colleges in India. These will come up in 24 states and three UTs.

“This will add roughly 15,000 nursing seats in the government sector,” the official said, adding that these new colleges will also help in overcoming the regional disparity.

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