• The problem of shortages of nurses and midwives has been highlighted, among others, by local governments. They see an improvement in the situation in changing the education system for nurses and midwives – indicated in her interrogation to the Ministry of Health, MP Kristina Skorowska
  • The Ministry of Health asked the question: “Does the Ministry plan and when to change the education system for nurses and midwives in a way that increases the number of bodies responsible for their education?”
  • This question was re-answered by Deputy Minister Peter Promper. – The education of nurses and midwives in Poland will be carried out only at a higher level, according to the standards currently in force in this field – he wrote.

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Will nurses and midwives go back to post-secondary schools?

There are no nurses and midwives in Poland, and in the coming years – experts point out – the personnel crisis will worsen. Is the Department of Health then planning to restore the education of nurses and midwives at the post-secondary school level? Representative Kristina Skorowska directed the question in this regard to the Ministry of Health.

In an interview with the Ministry of Health, she indicated that the average age of nurses in Poland is currently 53, and that of midwives is 51.

Local governments are also drawing attention to the problem of shortage of nurses and midwives. They see an improvement in the situation in changing the education system for nurses and midwives. They propose to restore the education of these employees at the level of post-secondary schools with the possibility of continuing education at the level of first and second-stage studies – argued the representative.

The Ministry of Health asked two questions:

  • Is the Ministry planning and when to change the education system for nurses and midwives in a way that increases the number of bodies responsible for their education?
  • Are current legal regulations, which limit the number of people trained in the profession of nurses and midwives, sufficient to address health care challenges?

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In response to the questioning, Deputy Minister Piotr Bromper states that “the system of professional training for nurses and midwives in Poland has changed dramatically over the past few years”.

– The transition of vocational training for nurses and midwives from secondary to higher education was conditioned by numerous legal regulations and international obligations resulting from activities related to Poland’s accession to the European Union, recommendations of the World Health Organization and guidelines of other international organizations – he noted.

He added that “the current form of the education system for nurses and midwives in Poland was also influenced by the Bologna process, which led to the development of an education system for Polish nurses and midwives after 2004 at only a higher level.”

Bromber emphasized that in 2017, “a discussion began with nurses and midwives about the model for educating these professional groups.”

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“Nurses and midwives will only be educated at the highest level”

– The effect of this was the development of a document on the direction of development of nursing and obstetrics in Poland. This document justifies the necessity to maintain the undergraduate education of nurses and midwives at the university level only – it explains.

Therefore, the Deputy Minister directly answers the question in the interpellation:

– The education of nurses and midwives in Poland will be carried out only at a higher level, in accordance with the standards currently in force in this field. The position of the Ministry of Health in this regard is fully consistent with the position of professional autonomy for nurses and midwives – falls short.

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Deputy Minister of Health: The number of nurses and midwives is increasing

Piotr Bromber also refers to the data in the interrogation regarding the personnel crisis between nurses and midwives. He says that the activities carried out by the Ministry of Health “have had clear effects in the form of reversing the unfavorable trend of reducing the number of nurses and midwives in the health care system.” As evidence, he cites data from the Central Register of Nurses and Midwives:

  • The number of professionally active nurses and midwives on December 31, 2015 was a total of 247,110,
  • While as of November 22, 2021, it was 263,568

The number of schools accredited by the Minister of Health for nursing education for the first session also increased from 77 universities in 2015 to 110 universities in 2021 (as of 09/28/2021). At the same time, interest in phase I studies in nursing has increased significantly. In the 2015/16 academic year, the number of students in the first degree of nursing was 5,935, and in 2020/2021 – 8,202. In the 2015/2016 school year, the number of students in the 2015/2016 school year was 953 and in the 2020/2021 school year – 1218 – indicated the Deputy Minister of Health.

It also answers the question regarding legal regulations that limit the number of people trained as a nurse and midwife.

As of the 2012/2013 academic year, admission limits in the fields of Nursing and Obstetrics were abolished in accordance with the Higher Education Law at that time. Currently, universities, by virtue of their autonomy, have the right to determine the number of people admitted to these faculties, taking into account their organizational and financial capabilities, including in terms of staff and teaching base.

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