India is short of two million nurses as per the global average on the number of nurses required in comparison to the population ratio, Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals Group, said recently, while launching India’s first online skill assessment tool for nurses.The WHO accepted global average standard was 2.56 nurses per thousand population as against India’s average of point eight nurses available for per thousand population. The health care sector is expanding phenomenally with the demand for nurses growing by the day. Eighty percent of the nurses came from the southern region with Kerala leading the supply sector followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, he said. Nearly 20 percent of experienced nurses leave for greener pastures abroad with many opting for the US, UK and European countries as against the earlier trend of the Gulf countries employing them in large numbers, he said. On the supply side, he said there were 1597 nursing schools, 833 nursing graduate colleges, 97 post-graduate nursing institutions. The institutes churned out nearly 80,00 nursing diploma holders, 41,650 graduate nurses and close to 2000 post-graduate nurses. Nearly 55 percent of the workforce in each hospital comprised the nursing staff, he said adding that the health sector was one of the largest employers. The health care delivery sector was currently USD 35 billion and was expected to rise to USD 75 billion plus by 2012. Speaking on the online test, Bali said development of the tool was done by Wockhardt in cooperation with Career India.