Minnow DHB outperforms big DHBs in employing new graduates

11 February 2015

Auckland's three district health boards have between them employed 29 per cent of the country's next generation of nurses.

But the latest Ministry of Health statistics show that it is the smallest DHB – West Coast DHB, serving just 33,000 people – ­that has opened its doors to the highest proportion of new grads. The 15 new grads they have employed roughly equates to around one new nurse to every 2,200 Coasters.

Whereas the three Auckland DHBs, with a combined population of just over 1.5 million, have to date employed 255 new nurses – a more humble ratio of one new nurse to every 6,000 Aucklanders.

The individual DHB to take the highest number of new graduates is Canterbury (serving 514,000 people) with 104, followed by Auckland DHB with 96, Waitemata with 93 and Waikato with 86. Counties Manukau DHB, serving the third highest population at 525,000, has to date taken 66 new graduates.

Capital and Coast DHB has taken 74 new nurses which, when added to Hutt Valley DHB's 28 new graduates, is a total of 102 new nurses employed in the combined Wellington region, which serves 548,000. Southern DHB, serving 311,000 people across Otago and Southland, has taken on 30 nurses.

Of the medium-sized DHBs (serving populations of over 100,000) Hawke's Bay has taken 32, Lakes 15, MidCentral 28, Nelson-Marlborough 29, Northland 27, and Taranaki 22.

The other small DHBs (serving less than 65,000) have also taken proportionately high numbers, with Whanganui taking 18, South Canterbury 12, and Wairarapa 8.