Forgot Password

Sign In


  • Company Information

  • Billing Address

  • Are you primarily interested in advertising *

  • Do you want to recieve the HealthTimes Newsletter?

  • Half of nurses, midwives considering leaving profession

    Author: AAP

Nearly half of Queensland nurses and midwives are considering leaving the profession amid chronic understaffing and aggression leading to burnout.

Of the 20,000 Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) members, 46 per cent of them are overworked, burnt out and considering quitting, a poll revealed.

Subscribe for FREE to the HealthTimes magazine

"Queensland public nurses and midwives are talking about leaving the professions they love indicating that something is drastically wrong," QNMU member and nurse of 50 years Christine Cocks told reporters.

"They are burnt out, exhausted and feel that no one in government is listening, in fact, they know no one in government is listening because nothing has changed."

The growing pressures started during COVID-19 with more presentations to hospitals but not enough staff to cope and is only escalating with continual population growth and cuts to bulk billing.

Some nurses are so overworked they are developing post-traumatic stress disorder and struggle to enter hospital wards, the union says.

Now with cost of living constraints bearing down on patients, nurses and midwives are experiencing more verbal abuse and violence.

"Patients have become more angry when services are delayed, not having all the needs met so nurses are experiencing more workplace aggression which is really a dark underbelly," QNMU member, nurse and midwife Kym Volp said.

This exposure to burnout and aggression while facing the same cost-of-living pressures as patients is turning more and more young Queenslanders away from the profession, the union added.

But for those who do choose to become a healthcare worker, there is a graduate position ceiling meaning many soon-to-be qualified nurses are unable to obtain a job.

"Even though working nurses want more nurses, there aren't the available positions for them to go into even though they're needed so badly," Ms Cocks said.

To solve the list of pressures on nurses and midwives, the union has handed 40 recommendations to the government ahead of the state budget.

The main demand is 11,800 full-time nurses and midwives by 2029.

Some of the other recommendations include workforce planning, free nursing and midwifery courses, paid student placement, a nurse and midwife mentoring program and accessible and affordable housing in regional areas.

"We need to look after the people who look after Queenslanders," QNMU secretary Sarah Beaman said.

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the government is committed to growing the sector's workforce and has already hired 13,000 more staff since being in power.

"We are working with a range of stakeholders, including the QNMU, on our 2032 Workforce Strategy which focuses on how we can best recruit, retain, and support health staff over the coming decade," she said in a statement.

"We have a long and proud track record of working with frontline health staff to deliver better conditions for workers and better outcomes for patients."


Thanks, you've subscribed!

Share this free subscription offer with your friends

Email to a Friend

  • Remaining Characters: 500