While Iran faces a shortage of 80,000 nurses, statistical reports indicate that 1,000 nurses emigrate from Iran each year. Iran's College of Nurses has criticized the failure to value the role of nurses and the lack of appropriate government policies to address the country's nurse shortage.
Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, a spokesman for the College of Nurses, told the Mehr News Agency that there needs to be a shift in culture to give nursing the place it deserves adding the Ministry of Health is also at fault for failing to open up greater opportunities for nurses wishing to pursue higher qualifications in their field.
Sharifi Moghaddam reported that nurses are immigrating to Turkey and other Gulf countries, which offer much better work conditions and incentives.
The nursing community has been protesting about low pay and excessive work hours in Iran. Sharifi Moghaddam reports that the dismal conditions forces nurses with even 14 years of experience to give up their profession leaving the field depleted of seasoned professionals.