Ebrahim Mohammadi, the head of International Relations for Iran’s Council of Nursing, reports that 7,000 nurses in the country are unemployed.

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Mohammadi told ISNA that currently 200,000 nurses are employed across the country and there is a need for another 130,000 nurses to be hired.

He stressed that the country is not facing a shortage of nurses, and the problem lies in absorbing the existing workforce, adding that even among the members of the Council of Nursing, 7,000 nurses are unemployed.

He added that severe work conditions dissuade graduates from entering the profession, and although retirement is set at 20 years of service, it is hardly ever honoured.

Mohammadi listed “the late payment of wages and benefits, lack of sleep, stress and exposure to pathogens” as some of the severe conditions faced by nurses, adding that on average across the country, nurses are owed back pay for anywhere between six to nine months.

Reports indicate 1,000 nurses leave the country annually due to bad work conditions in Iran.