Mid-year graduate nurses still jobhunting at year’s end

4 February 2014

Nearly half of the about 500 new nurses that graduated in July 2013 were still jobhunting in November, Ministry of Health statistics show.

Only 212 (41 per cent) of the 515 mid-year applicants for new graduate nursing programme places were successful in July. It appears not many more were successful in the following months as the Ministry of Health reports that 247 (47 per cent) of the July applicants applied again for jobs in the December round.

Nursing Review reported in early July that some nursing students had decided not to sit the state final exam in July in the belief that their job chances would be better at the end of the year. Graduates are only eligible for places on NETP programmes (nursing entry to practice) for up to 12 months after completing their degrees.

It is not known at this point how many of the second-time-around applicants were amongst the 705 new graduates who had been offered new graduate programme places by late January. 

Missing grads?

The second time around applicants made up 18.5 or nearly one in five of the 1328 applicants in the December round.

The Nursing Council says that 1350 nursing graduates sat state finals in November and 1312 successfully passed the exam. 

Once you subtract the mid-year graduates from the latest ACE round, that leaves 1081 applications from November graduates, indicating several hundred recent graduates may have chosen not to seek jobs through ACE.

ACE only offers new graduate positions in public hospitals, other district health board services, and publically-funded providers like general practices and residential aged care facilities that agree to offer NETP places. But new graduates also find work in private surgical hospitals and other non-DHB employers.

Also, last year’s annual March graduate survey by nurse educator group NETS found that 3.6 per cent of November graduates were not actively seeking work and 3 per cent had headed overseas to work.