The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Lebanese Order of Nurses (LON) announced the publication of their new study “The Workforce Trends of Nurses in Lebanon (2009-2014): A registration database analysis."
This manuscript is the first stemming from a two-year project to clean up and enhance the accuracy of the nursing registration database in Lebanon. Led by Dr. Mohamad Alameddine, Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy and co-led by Mrs. Helen Samaha Nuwayhid, former President of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon, the project and the manuscript represent a true cornerstone that puts the Order on par with well-established Orders and Syndicates globally, and supports evidence based policies and decisions relevant to the planning and development of the nursing workforce in Lebanon.
Published on 11 August 2017, and accepted by PLOS One - a well ranked peer reviewed multi-disciplinary journal; this study represents the most accurate, large scale, multiyear, and systematic attempt to understand the workforce dynamic of Lebanese nurses. It provides the most accurate to date database on nurses in the country, with thousands of nursing records updated. With the key findings and trends discovered, this study paves the way for future investigations and for setting a prioritized agenda to address issues affecting the recruitment and retention of nurses in Lebanon.
“In addition to its professional and academic significance, this is a project that exemplifies the vision of AUB as a connected institution building collaborations and synergies with the community surrounding it, while it translates the multi-year collaboration between the Lebanese Order of Nurses (LON) and the Health Management and Policy Department (HMPD) at FHS", stated Dr. Alameddine. “With this study, we can say that we have now set the cornerstone for the evidence based planning and management of nursing resources in Lebanon capitalizing on the power of registration databases."
"Nowadays drawing the nursing workforce staffing map at a country level becomes crucial to achieve national health strategic goals," stated Dr. Nuhad Doumit, President of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon, and AUB Professor. "This seminal work provides the scaffold for a national strategy aiming at augmenting the nursing workforce in numbers and qualifications".
Nurses represent a fundamental professional group among health human resources and play a leading role in healthcare provision and delivery. Different strategies of nurses' retention remain therefore crucial to thoroughly investigate. Based on the findings of this study, a 35% growth in the active nurses in Lebanon (registered and working in nursing) was observed between 2009 and 2014. The same period witnessed a growth of 86% in “eligible" nurses in Lebanon (registered with the LON but not working in nursing in Lebanon), and a 173% growth in the number of Lebanese nurses registered with LON but working outside Lebanon.
The study also raises many questions that are related to age (only 7% of nurses in Lebanon were more than 50 years old – very small percentage compared to other countries), and gender (20% of Lebanese nurses were males – among the highest in the world).
Based on those crucial findings, the study calls on policy and decision makers to examine the underlying causes for nurses' attrition from the labour market in Lebanon and the initiatives needed to keep nurses working throughout their professional lifespan. It stresses the need to investigate the push and pull factors affecting nurses, and the design of policies and interventions that would encourage nurses to remain active in Lebanon.
Read the full study on PLOS ONE via the following link: