Is There A Nurse Shortage In Australia?
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The recent pandemic left many professions rattled, struggling to find qualified labour. Among the list of affected industries is healthcare.
The healthcare industry has seen widespread nurse shortages, with the Health Workforce Australia expecting a shortage in excess of 100,000 nurses by 2025. The contributing facts, current industry needs, and next steps are all important to consider to fully understand the nurse shortage situation in Australia.
Understanding The Facts
There are many contributing factors to the nurse shortage in Australia, including retiring generations and career burnout. On top of this, nurses were thrown into overdrive when the pandemic hit, working long hours. The mounting pressure and overfilled hospitals lead to one in five nurses considering quitting their job due to pandemic stressors.
In addition, Australia’s aging population is another factor supporting the nurse shortage. Not only are nurses retiring in large numbers, but the current staff is being pulled in multiple different directions in an attempt to deal with chronic issues resulting from an aging population.
Couple burnout with increasing responsibilities and Australia is left with a significant nurse shortage.
Analysing Industry Needs
There’s no doubt that Australia needs more nurses, not only in a hospital setting, but also in disability support. Nurse shortages not only place a bigger burden on the current workforce, but patients also suffer from scarce care. Australian health officials are only predicting the shortages to climb in the coming years if incentives and industry change aren’t brought forward.
In an effort to mitigate the adverse side effects, travel nurses are being brought in to fill gaps. However, this can cause resentment among the nursing team as travel nurses frequently enjoy double the salary compared to regular employees.
Moreover, some nurses are being lured out of retirement with pay incentives. Recent statistics show that more than 55,000 retired health professionals are eligible to come out of retirement to help with the ongoing crisis.
Taking The Initiative
So, what does this mean for you? If you are looking for a career change to the healthcare sector, there has never been a better time. Job openings are at an all-time high with competitive pay incentives and benefits being offered.
For those already working as a nurse, you can use the staff shortage to your advantage by asking for pay raises and position changes. Odds are your employer won’t turn you away.
Patients are also seeing side effects of the shortage. Doctors are booked months in advance, meaning you may have to wait longer than normal. In addition, the care you receive in hospitals may be scarce as there is not enough staff to fulfil all the duties.
Whether you are currently a nurse or future patient, the nursing shortage impacts everyone in Australia. Easement efforts by Australian health officials have only begun, making it important to watch the changes occurring. Those in the health sector looking to switch jobs should take full advantage of the vast array of opportunities. On the other hand, if you are a patient, be sure to schedule appointments months in advance to avoid any delays.
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