Media Release 15 December 2016
Government leaves nursing graduates languishing again
In response to the November figures of graduate nursing placements via the ACE scheme, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation once again calls for sufficient funding to ensure all graduates have the guarantee of a nursing placement that includes further training and mentoring support.
NZNO Associate Professional Nursing Manager Hilary Graham-Smith says that surely just over half having employment, leaving in excess of 500 new graduates out of the health workforce at this point is not acceptable to New Zealanders.
“Hundreds of enthusiastic, trained New Zealand nurses are looking for work and are just left languishing. This is a real problem,” Ms Graham-Smith says.
“We have seen very little improvement in the number of graduate placements over the last four years. While some DHBs and some Directors of Nursing have worked hard to increase intake, overall far too many new graduate nurses remain without appropriate employment on completion of their degree.
“Evidently there is little government will to fund a programme that means all new graduate nurses have a position in a new entry training programme.
NZNO says the fact that many find work over the ensuing year is not necessarily something to celebrate when it knows graduates end up in employment situations (outside of NetP) where there is insufficient registered nurse support. In these circumstances newly trained nurses are expected to take on too much responsibility and consequently NZNO is aware they then get into difficulty, become overwhelmed and sometimes leave the profession.
“Every newly registered nurse and enrolled nurse deserves a place in a NetP programme. New Zealanders should be asking the government why it doesn’t value New Zealand graduate nurses enough to fund all graduates in the training programme,” Ms Graham-Smith said.