Nurses Day: The demand for skilled personnel in nursing continues to remain high

Both in the long term and during the Corona pandemic, the employment of nurses has grown at a higher rate than total employment.

11 May 2023 | Press release no.22

In June 2022, 1.68 million people in nursing professions were subject to social insurance contributions, 18,000 or 1.1 percent more than one year previously. In the last five years, the number of employees in nursing subject to social insurance contributions has risen by 166,000 or 11 percent. Across all occupational groups, the increase was seven percent. Since January 2022, however, employment growth has for a long time again been weaker than overall across all occupations.

Proportion of foreign personnel in nursing rises 
The proportion of nurses with a foreign nationality nearly doubled from eight percent in 2017 to 14 percent in 2022. This increase is mainly from third countries. Most of the 244,000 foreign nurses come from Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Romania and Croatia. The number of refugees working in the care sector has also increased significantly in the past few years. In June 2022, 20,000 nurses employed in nursing were from one of the eight most frequent countries of origin for asylum seekers, compared to less than 2,000 before the influx of refugees in 2015.

Significant shortage of skilled workers in nursing
The demand for skilled personnel in nursing continues to remain high. For every 100 registered vacancies for skilled workers in nursing, there are only 33 unemployed potential candidates. The situation is different at the auxiliary level. Here, the number of unemployed is greater than the number of vacancies. There are 100 registered vacancies compared to 323 unemployed. In the entire care sector, the demand for registered skilled workers is much higher than the potential pool of unemployed with this qualification profile. At the same time, there are significantly more unemployed people who are interested in a position as a nursing assistant than there are vacancies. 

Good job opportunities after advanced vocational training 
The qualification of assistant nursing staff as geriatric nursing assistants with training or as nurse specialists can help to increase the pool of skilled personnel. In the period from July 2021 to June 2022 (currently available period), 10,000 people completed their retraining as nurses. Both unemployed and employed people were supported in this. Of the 52,000 persons who, according to the Federal Statistical Office, started training as nurses in 2022 (provisional figures), just over one in 10 was funded by the Federal Employment Agency as part of advanced vocational training.

BA recruits from other countries
The BA also helps attract skilled workers and trainees for nursing from abroad. One key focus in this is the programme “Triple Win”. Together with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the BA works with the countries Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Philippines, Tunisia, Indonesia, India and Jordan. Within the framework of the programme, a total of 4,047 skilled workers and 275 trainees have so far taken up employment or training in Germany. The BA relies on fair migration for its projects and only works with countries which do not have their own shortage of nurses.

Brochure on caring professions
For “Nurses Day”, the BA is presenting a publication containing information on, for example, employees, vacancies, the situation for skilled workers and remuneration in nursing professions. This publication can be downloaded free of charge (available in German).