Media Releases

Student leaders speak up about shortage of positions for new grad nurses

4 December 2013

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) National Student Unit and Te Runanga Tauira rōpū are concerned that newly graduated nurses all around the country are fearful of not getting a job as a registered nurse and feel powerless to change the situation.

Student nurses and leaders Alexis Thuynsma, Hayley Bashford, Rebecca Le Noel and Kim Tipene met in Wellington today to discuss the crisis.

They say that fear of being labelled a trouble-maker stops many from speaking out about the dire straits they are in after graduation.

“Most are in significant debt and we are hearing stories of graduates stacking supermarket shelves at night just to make ends meet,” says Alexis Thuynsma.

Hayley Bashford says, “Students recruited into nursing courses are being told that they are guaranteed positions after graduation but what we are not being told is that the jobs won’t be available until the current baby boomer generation retires. We consider that an epic fail on the part of Health Workforce NZ.”

Tauira leaders Rebecca Le Noel and Kim Tipene agree and add that the situation is worse for Māori, “The Government knows that health outcomes are much better when there are specialised health services by Māori, for Māori and they say it’s a priority. But we see no evidence of their commitment to a workforce plan for Māori health when so few places are available for us when we graduate.”

 “Nurses are the largest health workforce in New Zealand. We are sending a strong message to Health Workforce NZ: you need us! Do not leave us behind!”

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