Where are new graduates getting jobs?

28 March 2017

Once again around 60 per cent of new nurses have gained a graduate placement by March, leaving 551 still job-hunting. The latest job statistics also provides a region-by-region breakdown of which areas are employing the greatest proportion of new graduates.

The Ministry of Health today released the latest statistics for the November 2016 round of the ACE job match system which had a record 1,274  first time applicants out of the total 1,455 applicants – seeking an NETP (nursing entry to practice) or NESP (mental health and addictions) government-subsidised new graduate placement in 2017.

The 1 March statistics show that once again more ACE applicants were offered places over the summer bringing the total number of successful new graduate applicants through ACE up to 853; 58 per cent of the original applicants or 61 per cent of the remaining 1,404 applicants*.

This number was nearly identical to the 852 successful ACE placements made by late March last year.

But that still left 551 nurses in the ACE job-hunting talent pool as at 1 March 2017 – once again a very similar number to last year when 547 new grads were still in the pool at the end of summer.

The Ministry also released statistics on where graduates found work with a district health board by district health board break down of the total number of new nurses who either gained NETP or NESP places with the DHB itself or with other NETP employers in the region, for example general practices or hospice (see table below). 

The statistics also provide a comparison of how many replacement new graduates each region is employing as a percentage of the region's total nursing workforce which varied from a low 1.1-1.2 per cent in the Hutt DHB region in the past two years to a consistent 3.2 per cent by Waikato DHB. (Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs record higher percentages but the Ministry indicates that this could be due to a coding anomaly in nursing workforce data for the Auckland metropolitan area).

Chief Nurse Jane O'Malley said there was an increased percentage of Māori and Pacific November ACE applicants being employed with 71 per cent of Māori applicants being successful this summer compared with 63 per cent last year. Also 70 per cent of November 2016 Pacific applicants, compared with 50 per cent of November 2015 Pacific applicants. This compares with 58 per cent of the 1,226 non-Māori applicants being employed.

But overall the number of graduates gaining employment within three months after the ACE round was very similar to previous years with about 50 per cent of graduates gaining employment before they knew the results of their state finals exam, just under 40 per cent still seeking work through ACE at the end of summer and about three per cent of graduates still seeking work through ACE 12 months after first applying.

The practice settings were also very similar, with once again surgical, medical and mental health being the top three practice settings; however, mental health was slightly down from 133 last year to 116 this year. Primary healthcare placements (including practice nursing, iwi providers, school nursing and hospices) were similar at 56 placements, compared with 51 last year.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the latest statistics indicated a better reflection of the country's population, which evidence suggested helped improve health outcomes and access to services. He also said the government funded 1,291 new graduate nurses into NETP positions in 2016.

* Thirty-nine of the initial 1,455 applicants withdrew their applications (20 of these were employed prior to the November match) and 12 declined positions, leaving 1,404 graduates looking for employment through ACE.

DHBs

 

New grads employed in mid-year 2016 & New Year 2017

RNs in district

31/12/17*

 

New Grads as % of district's nurses 

1/3/2017

New Grads as  % of district's nurses

1/3/2016

Counties Manukau*

141

*3113

*4.5%

*4.9%

Waitemata*

144

*3421

*4.2%

*4.1%

Waikato

139

4312

3.2%

3.2%

West Coast

12

396

3.0%

1.9%

Canterbury

186

6476

2.9%

3.0%

Hawkes Bay

49

1891

2.5%

2.5%

South Canterbury

15

626

2.4%

2.5%

Whanganui

15

664

2.3%

2.6%

Tairawhiti

12

549

2.2%

2.4%

Nelson/Marlborough

35

1605

2.2%

2.6%

Auckland*

176

*8540

*2.1%

*2.2%

Capital Coast

82

4083

2.0%

2.5%

Bay of Plenty

54

2829

1.9%

2.4%

Wairarapa

8

441

1.8%

1.0%

Southern

59

3566

1.7%

NA

Northland

34

1944

1.7%

2.1%

Lakes

19

1154

1.6%

2.0%

Mid Central

30

2063

1.5%

0.8%

Taranaki

19

1293

1.5%

2.1%

Hutt

13

1233

1.1%

1.2%

AVERAGE

 

 

2.8%

2.4%

*Data is from Nursing Council data of known and unknown distribution of nurses.

NB: There may be coding issues with nursing number in the Auckland metro DHBs, with Waitemata and Counties Manukau DHBs being under reported and Auckland DHB being over reported. This will distort the percentage.

Also note the DHB data does not include the 24 new grads employed by Southern Cross and 6 by other non-DHB employers.

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