J Korean Acad Nurs Adm.  2019 Sep;25(4):353-361. 10.11111/jkana.2019.25.4.353.

An Estimation of Supply and Demand for Primary Healthcare Nursing Workforce in the North Korean Region after Korean Reunification

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Korea.
  • 2Korea Armed Forces Nursing School, Korea. ymjungbest@kafna.ac.kr
  • 3Graduate School of Nursing, Seoul National University, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study was done to estimate supply and demand for nursing workforce to provide community-based primary healthcare in the North Korean region to cost-efficiently narrow the health gap between the two Koreas in case of a Korean reunification.
METHODS
To understand the nursing education system and current state of nursing workforce in North Korea, the authors interviewed six North Korean defectors who had worked as nurses in North Korea. Based on the interview results and literature review, the supply and demand for the primary healthcare nursing workforce that would be needed after Korean reunification were estimated
RESULTS
Currently, a total of 2,100 to 2,700 North Korean nurses were estimated to have graduated from nursing schools with a 2 year curriculum or completed 6-month military nurse training courses every year. The projected number of nurses in demand to provide primary health care ranged from 84,160 to 105,200 and the shortage would be between 31,586 and 52,626.
CONCLUSION
An active utilization of the North Korean nursing workforce to improve the health of North Koreans after reunification will be the best way to reduce the reunification cost which will be inflicted mainly on South Korea.

Keyword

Democratic people's Republic of Korea; Korean reunification; Nursing workforce; Primary healthcare; Supply and demand

MeSH Terms

Curriculum
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Education, Nursing
Humans
Korea
Military Personnel
Nursing*
Primary Health Care*
Schools, Nursing
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