Nursing professionals are at the front lines of service provision and play an important role in care focused on people and communities. In many countries they act as leaders or key members of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary health teams. They provide a wide range of services at all levels of the health care system. However, there is a shortage of nursing professionals in the Region of the Americas; this shortage is primarily attributable to emigration of professionals to other regions, different levels of economic development in the countries, precarious employment conditions, human resource policies for health workers including nurses, and lack of professional regulation.