Job-hunting nursing grad picture to become clearer

6 May 2014

How many of the bumper crop of new nurses are still job-hunting will be much clearer next week.

Late last month, Nursing Review published the latest graduate destination survey, which showed that 900 of the more than 1320 November graduates were nursing by March and a further 268 (20%) still seeking work (see NewsFeed April 22).

But the talent pool for the “one-stop job shop” November job round still had about 500 new graduates on its books at the end of April after 816 (61.5%) applicants got places in government-subsidised NETP (nursing entry to practice) or NESP (mental health) new graduate programmes.

Dr Paul Watson, a senior nursing advisor for the Ministry of Health, said how many November graduates were still seeking new graduate positions would become clear after applications close on May 9 for the July round of the ACE “one-stop job shop”.

Graduates are eligible to seek places on NETP programmes for up to 12 months after completing their degrees and last November’s ACE round included 212 July graduates (41 per cent of the July cohort) trying for a second time. So applications for the July round should reveal how many November graduates are still seeking NETP places.

Watson said the data gathered by the March destination survey by nurse educator group NETS shows that the ACE data became increasingly less accurate over time with some graduates not informing ACE when they got nursing jobs or getting jobs and opting to stay in the talent pool because they still wanted a place on a NETP programme.

He said the Nursing Council has informed the Ministry that nearly 93 per cent of November 2012 graduates were practicing as nurses in New Zealand by November 2013.

“We are certainly acknowledging that it’s hard and difficult (the employment situation) and that some graduates have to wait a while to get a job.” He added that the picture after six months and even 12 months showed that missing out on a job in the first ACE round did not mean graduates would not find a nursing position.