Understanding the Nursing Shortage in Australia
  • Posted on 18th July, 2022
    8 Minutes read

Understanding the Nursing Shortage in Australia

Nursing is a physically demanding profession. It’s no secret that a shortage of healthcare workers, an ageing population with increasing chronic health conditions, and disagreements about typical nurse compensation expectations in Australia have all contributed to the nursing profession’s complex problems.

The Department of Health predicted an 85,000-nurse shortage in Australia by 2025, rising to 123,000 nurses by 2030, in a detailed assessment of Australia’s future health workforce issued in 2014.

The disparity of Nurses to Meet Demand – Why?

The health department’s future workplace structure shows that there will not be enough nurses to care for Australia’s fast-rising population. Hence, nursing has been recommended to remain on the national list of identified skills shortages.

According to a recent 2020 report by the International Council of Nurses, 90% of national nurse associations were somewhat or highly concerned that the pandemic’s demanding workloads, limited resources, burnout, and stress were causing more nurses to leave or wish to leave the profession.

The pandemic has put practically all nurses to the test, with recent research revealing that 42% of nurses are less motivated to work than before. Many are trying to cope with work-related post-traumatic stress & the pressure to care for patients, even if it messes with their safety. Burnout is caused by various circumstances, including increasing workloads and compulsory overtime.

While many nurses are considering leaving the field, another major factor contributing to the nursing shortage in Australia is that nurses are being asked to perform more diverse duties than ever before.

ICN anticipates that up to 13 million nurses will be required to address the global nursing shortage due to present nursing shortages, the aging of the nursing workforce, and the expanding COVID-19 effect.

Is Calling Additional Healthcare Professionals the Solution?

Even though many people are returning to nursing, there aren’t enough educated nurses to meet Australia’s present nursing shortage. As a result, Australia has invited thousands of retired nurses to come out of retirement to help with the ongoing pandemic response.

State governments have also urged retired or career-changed nurses to return to the field and nurses who may be unemployed in some areas, due to a restriction on non-emergency surgery addressing the nursing shortage crisis.

Although Australia’s borders were closed for most of the pandemic, the Australian government is considering allowing up to 2,000 international nurses and doctors to help with the nursing shortages. Nurses and other medical personnel are being flown in and assigned to suburban and regional hospitals and GP clinics.

What Does it Mean for Nursing Graduates or Undergraduates?

Despite the present issues affecting Australia’s healthcare sector and nursing workforce, nursing remains a highly rewarding profession. Even though there are stories of nurses abandoning the field and difficult working circumstances in Australia, there remains a nursing shortage.

The potential to advance and lead within the profession significantly outweighs these nurse practitioner shortages. On the other hand, nurses have real opportunities to seize the moment and advance their careers. Because of the increased nurse demand for a broader skill set, nurses who want to expand their knowledge and certifications will have more options.

Nurses exhibited adaptability to rapid change and quickly embraced new working methods throughout the global pandemic. Nurses can make a difference as they adjust to the increasing global nursing demand by tuning their enthusiasm into a postgraduate degree.

If you are willing to elevate your career as a registered nurse and prepare for vital clinical leadership, this is the time. Explore every option you have and commit to the one that suits your dream career!

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