Theoretical Analysis of How to Resolve the Nursing Shortage in Japan

  •  Mamoru Miyamoto    
  •  Yoshihiko Seoka    


This study examines how to resolve the acute nursing shortage in Japan, by proposing a simple but useful model that helps provide a basis for the theoretical analysis of this issue. Although nurses in Japan need a lifetime license, only issued by the government after completing rigorous training, they still do not hesitate to leave their nursing positions. The fact that licensed nurses do not necessarily work in the health care market, and the question of how “inactive nurses” can be lured back to their former jobs, are significant social problems in Western countries as well as in Japan. Some inactive nurses desire to return to nursing work if the incentives offered were to meet their expectations. In that regard, we propose an approach for inducing inactive nurses to return to their former jobs. The presented theoretical analysis concludes that providing childcare support for nurses, a non-pecuniary driving force, is more effective than offering them a wage rise for increasing the supply of nursing services.

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