Gov't to Improve Irregular Shift Work in Nursing | Be Korea-savvy

Gov’t to Improve Irregular Shift Work in Nursing

Medical workers prepare Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in central Seoul on Feb. 27, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Medical workers prepare Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in central Seoul on Feb. 27, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 29 (Korea Bizwire)The Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced a plan to launch a pilot program to address irregular shift work for nurses at 58 medical institutions across the country, starting from Friday.

For the participating medical institutions, night-shift nurses will be assigned and replacement and backup nurses will also be hired.

In addition, training-specific nurses will also be assigned to these institutions.

According to the ministry, the operation of training-specific nurses, who are responsible for training new nurses at public and national medical institutions, contributed to reducing the turnover rate.

The health ministry plans to cover 70 percent of the payroll costs for replacement, backup, and training-specific nurses. The remaining 30 percent will be covered by the participating medical institutions.

This is aimed at encouraging not only the government but also the medical institutions to step up efforts to improve working conditions for nurses.

This pilot program is aimed at improving the work environment of nurses as well as expanding the workforce based on the negotiations the ministry had with the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union in September last year.

Thus far, nurses have struggled due to irregular shift work and long hours. Accordingly, the turnover rate for nurses stood at 15.2 percent in 2019, about three times higher than 4.9 percent for the entire industry, resulting in a shortage of qualified nurses.

J. S. Shin (

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