Female Saudi nurses deserve respect



Nursing is a great profession. No medical institution can operate without highly qualified nurses. It is important to Saudize the nursing sector, as this is an opportunity to create a large number of job opportunities for Saudi women.

There are, however, several obstacles in the way of Saudizing this sector and making Saudi women want to work as nurses. One of the obstacles is the limited number of female students who are admitted into public nursing colleges. Another is the high tuition fee for nursing programs at private universities. Other obstacles include poor public awareness about the important work that nurses do, the long hours and day and night shifts, as well as the absence of incentives. The majority of nurses do not receive high salaries.

Female Saudi nurses account for 30 percent of the health sector workforce. Hospitals continue to suffer from a shortage of female Saudi nurses because most health colleges have reduced their student intake. The healthcare sector is in dire need of a large number of female Saudi nurses. We cannot increase the Saudization rate in this sector unless educational institutions become fully aware of the importance of increasing the percentage of females enrolled in nursing colleges. The admission requirements should be made easier in order to take in a larger number of students. Our academic institutions could play a major role in empowering Saudi women in this field.

There is still a lot of social stigma related to this profession. Many members of the public look down on the profession. The authorities responsible for the healthcare sector are partly responsible for this mistreatment. In fact, some nurses are verbally abused and marginalized. Educational institutions and the media can dispel the negative stereotypes and images about nursing and increase public awareness of the great sacrifices that Saudi nurses make to serve patients and ensure that all patients get the best care.

Saudi nurses are as important as Saudi doctors. They need our support and more incentives as well as salaries that are commensurate with their efforts and their long and unsociable working hours. We must be aware of the fact that most Saudi nurses have families and other responsibilities at home. They have to handle the pressures at work and balance their responsibilities at home. All they need from us is respect and appreciation in order to continue serving patients.