We are more than halfway through the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and it couldn’t have come at a more fitting time. For the 18th year in a row, nursing has consistently been voted the highest profession in honesty and ethics, according to the most recent Gallup poll.

And in the throes of a global pandemic, organizations and communities everywhere are creatively showing their support for nurses and other front-line workers through compassion and expressions of raucous gratitude.

However, just as communities are scrambling to meet the unprecedented demands on our healthcare system this year, they must also think through and start preparing for the future of the profession.

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The current pandemic has laid bare our country’s woeful under-investment in healthcare professionals—particularly in the nursing field. In the United States, a shortage of 1 million nurses is anticipated by 2030. And according to a report by the World Health Organization, 9 million more nurses are needed globally within the decade to ensure universal health care coverage.

About the Author:

Dr. Sherri Wilson is the Health Careers Program Director at K12 Inc. Previously, Dr. Wilson served as a public health nursing administrator with the Fairfax, VA County Health Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hampton University, a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Health Policy from Seton Hall University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.