Challenges for nurse managers in China


Frances Kam Yuet Wong
School of Nursing
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong SAR


wong f.k.y. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 526–530
Challenges for nurse managers in China

Aim  To critically review the challenges facing nurse leaders in China during healthcare reform.

Background  China is now undergoing a major reform aimed at enhancing the accessibility and quality of its healthcare at a level that is affordable to the people. Nurses have a key role to play in this reform.

Evaluation  Key documents produced by the government of China were critically reviewed using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) framework.

Key issues  A number of factors, including the insufficient number of nurses and the medical orientation of the health system, have hindered the development of nursing. However, healthcare reform has created new opportunities for nurses and nursing.

Conclusions  This paper reviews the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by nurse managers in China. It identifies barriers but also possibilities for nurse leaders to advance nursing and make nurses visible in this era of transforming healthcare.

Implications for nursing management  Many of the issues identified in this review, such as the enhancement of quality and accessibility of care, are important to nurse leaders around the world. However, this article reveals the particular challenges faced by nurse leaders in China, with its unique social and historical background.