Media Releases

Shortage of nurses from 2017 but no plan in place yet

13 November 2014

Nurses, midwives and health care assistants are welcoming a report about health workforce planning released yesterday. The report, by Health Workforce NZ, outlines the state of the health workforce now and makes some predictions about future health workforce needs.

NZNO professional services manager, Susanne Trim says, “The report provides a useful snapshot of health workforce data across the professions however delays in planning for the impending nursing shortage are worrying due to increasing population health need and demand.”

“The report noted that there has been an 11 percent increase in nurses since 2009 and also notes a rapid approach of increasing numbers of nurses reaching retirement age. This is not new information. We identified the urgent need to address the pending crisis a number of years ago. The shortage will occur in a mere two years time. NZNO would have expected there to be a strategy of working with education providers, DHB and nursing organisations by now in the face of this predicted nursing workforce shortage.   Progress at a national level has been extremely slow with little attention and priority given to nursing workforce planning until late last year.”

“Significant work is still required to determine how greater numbers will be educated to meet future shortages, and how graduate nurses will be guaranteed employment into supported positions. We look forward to working closely with other nursing organisations, HWNZ and the Ministry of Health to develop an effective nursing workforce plan for now and into the future.” 

Direct Media Enquiries To:

Rob Zorn
Communications and Media Advisor
027 431 2617  |  04 494 8242

Member enquiries: 0800 28 38 48 or