The Paradox of Surplus and Shortage: A Policy Analysis of Nursing Labor Markets in Indonesia

Ferry Efendi, Gading Ekapuja Aurizki, Ilmiawan Auwalin, Anna Kurniati, Lita Dwi Astari, Ias Tarina Puspitasari, Mei Chan Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Resolving nursing resources constraints should rely on robust nursing labor market analysis; however, no current study analyzes the dynamics of nursing labor markets in Indonesia. This study aimed to investigate the production, inflow and outflow, maldistribution and inefficiencies, and private sector regulations of the nursing labor market in Indonesia. Patients and Methods: This study used descriptive qualitative and document analysis approaches via focus group discussion (FGD) among various stakeholders in Indonesia. The FGD was conducted once attended by representatives from various sectors, including health, education, manpower, professional associations, and private. Policies on training, inflow and outflow, maldistribution and efficiencies, and private sector regulation were analyzed. Document analysis was used to triangulate the qualitative data. Results: There is a structured policy regarding production, inflow and outflow, distribution, and involvement of the private sector. The number of nursing production shows an excess when entering the labor markets; however, the health-care providers reported a nursing workforce shortage. Policies on outflow encourage the deployment of Indonesian nurses overseas despite various challenges. Private sector involvement cannot be denied, especially in the placement of Indonesian nurses abroad. In addition, there is an absence of an integrated nursing labor market platform which may lead to inaccurate supply and demand. Conclusion: Establishing an integrated and comprehensive platform of the nursing labor market in Indonesia is imperative. Addressing the surplus and shortage of nursing workforce requires reliable data to inform the policy. These analyses highlight the need to understand how the existing environment affects the market for Indonesian nurses nationally and globally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-639
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • health worker
  • Indonesian nurses
  • nurse migration
  • nursing education
  • nursing policy
  • nursing workforce


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