[Excerpt from publisher]The majority of member states of the World Health Organization report a shortage, maldistribution and misutilisation of nurses. Financial constraints have forced some governments to close health facilities despite the need for services and the ensuing redundancy of nursing personnel. Management and compensation practices greatly affect the severity of nursing shortages, particularly in health institutions. In many countries, the career structures for nurses are inappropriate. Some governments have failed to address the identified problems relating to hours of work, ongoing education, re-entry programmes, staffing levels, attitudes of administrators, security, housing and day care services.