South Africa, like many other countries around the world, faces a problem of recruiting and retaining nurses in rural areas. In 2008, the ratio of nurses to 100,000 population in the North West province was 81.1 while it was 111.7 in Gauteng province, a much more urban province. These dynamics are compounded by the presence of the private health sector that is almost exclusively in urban areas. This document reports on the initial findings of a longitudinal study in South Africa that seeks to understand how nurses feel about living and working in rural areas and what interventions can be implemented to entice more of them to do so.
CREHS research update, November 2009. 3 pp.