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Nursing shortage expected to worsen

Nursing shortage expected to worsen
Photo: Nursing shortage expected to worsen
Australian nurses are feeling disheartened and underappreciated with several surveys finding increasing numbers of nurses are considering leaving their jobs and even exiting the profession.

The exodus from the nursing profession, which fell during the global financial crisis, is expected to rise in the next few years as nurses explore greener pastures, with many fed up with demanding workloads due to a lack of nurses while aged care workers are frustrated with low wages.

A national Monash University study of 640 nurses found 15 per cent were “likely to leave the nursing profession during the next year”.
Meanwhile, an Australian Nursing Federation online survey, after just four days, found 100 per cent of nurses said they believed governments undervalue the role of nurses in Australia.

And a separate month-long ANF poll found 78 per cent of nurses and assistants in nursing will leave the aged care workforce if the Federal Government fails to close the wages gap.

The results come as the nation’s health workforce planning body, Health Workforce Australia, has warned the nursing shortage will worsen within five years unless more is done to make the profession more attractive.

Disgruntled nurses throughout Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have been campaigning for better wages and working conditions in the past few months.

The ANF is also demanding a national solution to the wages of aged care workers.

The union is calling on the Federal Government to inject $500 million into the under-resourced sector, with aged care nurses earning between $168 and $300 a week less than nurses working in the public hospital system.

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