Early data shows 774 new graduate nurses were offered jobs in mid-November through the ACE job matching clearinghouse leaving nearly 140 positions still to be filled.

But there were 583 new graduate applicants without job offers vying for those remaining 139 positions. So many new nurses will once again start the summer job-hunting and hoping more positions will open up over the Christmas/New Year break.

The Ministry of Health this week released initial data on the 2017 ACE Nursing end-of-year job ‘match’ between the 1357 new graduate nurses who applied and the 901 positions on NETP (Nurse Entry to Practice) and NESP (new entry to specialist practice, mental health and addictions) programmes being offered via the 20 district health boards and Southern Cross.

In the first round in mid-November 774 applicants (57 per cent) were matched and were sent job offers on November 22, leaving 139 positions still to be filled by the remaining 583 applicants in the talent pool.

The proportion of graduates matched with jobs by mid-November appears to be slightly up on last year. Statistics released on December 9 last year for the 2016 round showed 779 new grads had jobs (54 per cent of applicants) but that figure included 16 applicants who secured jobs after the initial mid-November match and 13 applicants known to have got non-NETP or NESP positions. The number of applicants in 2016 was the highest ever with 1455 initial applicants of which 1434 took part in the job match.

Further information on the latest round will be made available in mid-December including which clinical settings the new nurses have been offered jobs in and how many graduates have accepted the initial job offers and how many jobs were still to be filled from the remaining talent pool.

The Ministry of Health says data trends from previous end-of-year new graduate recruitment rounds have followed a similar pattern with about 50 per cent of graduates gaining employment before they know the outcome of the Nursing Council State exam and that almost all (96-98%) graduates applying though ACE will be employed within 12 months.  But a number of these will be employed outside of the government-subsidised and mentored NETP and NESP programmes – including in residential aged care – which has prompted continued calls from nursing organisations for all graduates to be offered new graduate programme places.

New graduate Nov ACE job trends


Year Total applicants* First time applicants Total number of jobs offered** Total number of applicants successful
2012 1239  NA 730 58.9%
2013 1337  NA 605 45.2%
2014 1481 1260 778 52.5%
2015 1451 1245 735 50.6%








(*filled as at Nov 10 of 913 positions available)





*Number of applicants can drop by the time job offers are made in mid-November as graduates either get jobs with other employers or withdraw for other reasons. From 2014 onwards eligibility for applying to ACE nursing was extended so new graduates could apply for NETP/NESP positions for up to two years (i.e. up to four times) after passing state finals.

**The cut-off date for supplying job offer data can vary slightly from year to year from – so sometimes includes additional jobs offered in late Nov/early December. Employers keep offering jobs over the summer so the number who actually start NETP programmes in the New Year is always higher.

NA = not available


  1. Some one tell me where these jobs are? I’ve emailed every single DHB only to receive emails back saying they aren’t hiring any more new grads. I’ve got good grades, good reference, willing to move anywhere, and will do nearly any job. Some one hire me!


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