ANF understands up to 40 per cent of all graduate
nurses and midwives have missed out on a graduate year place across the Victorian
hospital system despite authorities warning of a looming nurse shortage.
The document used as the basis of the Victorian
Government's health services planning, the 10-year Health Priorities Framework 2012-22: Metropolitan Health Plan,
claims that between 2011 and 2022 the Victorian system will lose 72,000 nurses,
with about 6000 nurses leaving per year and about 4500 graduates starting each
The Commonwealth statutory authority established
to advise the federal, state and territory health ministers, Health Workforce
Australia, predicted that Australia would have a shortage of 110,000 nurses in
its Health Workforce 2025 Report
released last April. The report says Victoria will have a shortage of 19,615
registered nurses and 7,183 enrolled nurses by 2025.
Despite the predictions Victorian budget papers
show no change in the number of public hospital funded graduate places, while
in reality Computer Match data indicates each service has reduced the number of
positions by about 10 per cent between 2011 and 2012. The evidence suggests the
2013 graduate year positions have been reduced further. Computer Match is the
organisation responsible for matching graduates to graduate year positions.
Australian Nursing Federation (Victorian Branch)
Acting Secretary Paul Gilbert said: "It defies logic to exclude up to 40 per
cent of nurses and midwives successfully graduating from their courses when
both the Baillieu Government and Health Workforce Australia are forecasting
serious nurse shortages. Health Minister David Davis cannot afford to get this
wrong now or we will lose hundreds of potential nurses and midwives.
"Graduates who have dedicated three or more years
to their studies and successfully passed their courses should be looking
forward to their first day on the ward and excited about starting their nursing
careers especially when the authorities keep warning that we will need more
nurses," he said.
"Instead hundreds of graduates are calling us
devastated that they have no future as a nurse or a midwife before they've even
started because they've missed out on a graduate year and are being told by
hospitals that they won't get a job if they haven't completed a graduate year
place," Mr Gilbert said.
"The Baillieu Government has a responsibility to
the people of Victoria to invest in building our future nursing and midwifery
workforce, but is instead undermining it by an almost across the board
reduction in the number of graduate positions and allowing the introduction of
catch-22 employment conditions that exclude nurses and midwives who have not
undertaken a graduate year."
Victorian nursing and midwifery graduates who missed
out by region
ANF has data indicating
746 Victorian nursing and midwifery graduates have missed out on a graduate
year place next year. Another 59 Victorian graduates who studied interstate
also missed out. The total number of unmatched candidates, who applied under
the Victorian scheme, including some from New Zealand, is 1142. The following
is a list of graduates who studied in Victoria and missed out on a graduate
Western Victoria - 155 graduates
Northern and North East Victoria - 59 graduates
South East Victoria - 84 graduates
Metro - 448 graduates