September 16, 2022
New steps to boost nurse numbers
Health Minister Andrew Little says immigration alone won’t fix workforce issues in the health system.
He told the New Zealand Nurses Organisation annual conference yesterday there are around 3300 nursing vacancies in the hospital system.
He says as well as changing the immigration rules so it is easier for nurses to come here and get residency, the Government is investing in its own pipeline of future nurses, including increasing training positions for nurse practitioners, mental health and primary care nurses.
There are 46 new bursaries for Māori students, and 30 scholarships for Pacific students.
The Return to Nursing support fund which helps nurses get their practising certificates renewed is being expanded after a successful pilot this year helped 225 nurses return to the front line, many of them working in aged-residential care.
There’s also a project to reduce undergraduate nursing attrition rates, and support Māori and Pacific nursing students to complete their studies and thrive in the early years of their nursing careers.
Mr Little says one of the greatest points of attrition for nursing students is at the point they do their final placement and that needs to be addressed.