DEATH has been cited by the Health Ministry as one of the contributing factors to the shortage of nurses in the country every year.
While the ministry has yet to reveal the figures, nursing director Silina Waqa-Ledua told this newspaper in an interview in Labasa on Monday shortage was always an issue.
"The shortage of nurses will always be there;
"Every year, nurses retire, some take long service leave while some pass away and these are among other factors that contribute to the shortage," she said.
"As for the issue of nurses migrating offshore, this has remarkably improved.
"Nurses have opted to stay and work here because their working conditions have improved, more professional training has been introduced for them and their salaries have increased.
"The rate of nurses migrating has slowed down and this is all because of the improvements taking place in the nursing sector.
"Also, we have continued to work with all the nursing stakeholders to look at other ways to retain nurses in the country."
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said the government was responsive towards such a move.
"The nurses salaries have increased and we hope the government will continue to support them in the future.
"Now that a lot of improvements and benefits have been directed to nursing, we have continued to emphasise on the need for nurses to treat their profession as a calling from God and not just a job."
Nurses celebrate International Nurses Day this week.