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China home to over 5 million registered nurses

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-11 16:21
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A nurse weighs a baby at a hospital in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. LIU WENHUA/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

BEIJING -- The number of registered nurses in China has grown with an average annual rate of 8 percent over the past 10 years, reaching 5.02 million at the end of 2021, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.

There were about 3.56 nurses for every 1,000 people, said Guo Yanhong, an official with the commission, at a press conference ahead of International Nurses Day, which falls on May 12.

The professional competence of the nurses has also improved, with nearly 80 percent of them holding junior college degrees or above, she said.

However, there is still room for growth in the nursing workforce, as the fast-growing aging population poses a serious challenge to the country in providing sufficient elderly care.

China aims to raise the number of nurses to 5.5 million by 2025, which would mean 3.8 registered nurses per 1,000 people, according to a development plan for nursing for the 2021-2025 period.

The government will expand the coverage of nursing services, with a strong focus on improving services for the elderly and in communities, Guo said.

According to the latest census, by 2020, the number of Chinese people aged 60 or above had reached 264 million, accounting for 18.7 percent of the country's total.

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