Newly graduating nurses and midwives have invested their efforts into qualifying as a registered nurse or midwife and should be looking forward to a graduate program next year.
Unfortunately, as has been the case for the past couple of years, the ANF has
been inundated by final year nursing and midwifery students who missed out on
an offer of a 2013 graduate year program through Computer Match. Students have
told the ANF of reports from the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria
(PMCV), who co-ordinate the Computer Match process for undergraduate nurses and
midwives, that up to 40% of new graduates will not receive an offer of a
graduate year program in 2013, nearly half of all graduates.
Evidence presented by the PMCV indicates a worsening trend, with the demand for
graduate nurse year programs increasingly outstripping supply. For
example, the percentage of final year nursing and midwifery students who have
not been provided an offer of a graduate year program has increased from
17% in 2008, 18% in 2009, and 26% in 2010 to a staggering 31.05 % in 2011.
The ANF has been lobbying state and federal governments to implement measures
to address the shortfall in the number of graduate year programs for newly
graduated nursing and midwifery students. As part of this, the ANF and the
Victorian and Tasmanian Deans of Nursing and Midwifery recently wrote to the Hon
Tanya Plibersek MP to highlight the failure of the Victorian Government to take
sustainable and effective steps to address the predicted nursing shortage
identified by Health Workforce Australia (HWA).
Specifically, this letter identified that, despite the nursing workforce
shortages predicted by HWA, health services within the public health care
sector have reduced the number of graduate positions by approximately 10% in
2012 when compared to 2011.
The ANF is alarmed that, despite the dire nursing workforce shortages predicted
by HWA and the repeated calls to the Baillieu Government to implement
strategies to ensure the number of graduate year places offered in Victoria
under the Computer Match process meets demand, the 2013 picture looks even
worse than in previous years.
Baillieu Government must ensure there are sufficient graduate programs for
newly graduating nurses and midwives to support their safe transition
from student to registered nurse or midwife and thereby ensure they are ready
to contribute to the health and welfare of the Victorian public. Doing so is critical to addressing the claimed future nursing workforce
shortages and to making sure Victorians continue to receive professional nursing
and midwifery care.
What can you do to
If you are a final year nursing or midwifery student and are applying for 2013
graduate year program or employment in nursing or midwifery, we encourage you
to complete the 5 minute on line survey.