Nurse and health professional migration during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of nursing supply flows, domestically and internationally. Its impact at the country-level has further highlighted preexisting nurse supply gaps and the effect of staffing shortages. Internationally, the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains. The world has witnessed the closing of borders, the interruption of travel, and, in some countries, the restriction of outflows. The State of the World's Nursing Report (SOWN) (WHO, 2020) noted a shortfall of almost six million nurses immediately pre-COVID-19, a shortage suffered particularly by low- and middle-income countries. This is of major concern given that increased international outflows of nurses in the new post-COVID era could undermine, even more than before, the readiness of those countries to meet healthcare demands (ICN, 2020). In this default scenario, some, but not all, highincome destination countries will continue to rely on international inflow of nurses to a significant extent, as they did pre-COVID- 19, further exacerbating the suffering of poor countries. Put simply, without country-level policy changes related to the nursing workforce and backed by international organisations, pre-COVID-19 trends of increased nurse flows from low- to high-income countries will likely continue. In this scenario, the iniquitous maldistribution of nurses may become more pronounced. This "do nothing" option risks undermining both country-level progress towards the attainment of Universal Health.