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All graduate nurses deserve placements

The Advanced Choice of Employment (ACE) programme once again leaves hundreds of nursing graduates with no job placements at the year end. Associate Manager Professional Services, Hilary Graham-Smith says this is unacceptable considering the national nursing workforce goal is 100 percent placement by 2018.

The ACE programme facilitates the application and recruitment process for new graduate nurses applying for a position on a Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) or Nurse Entry to Specialist Practice (NESP) programme. ACE coordinates this process on behalf of employers for positions within any of the 20 DHBs across New Zealand and many private hospitals. Placements may also be in primary care or aged care.

Ms Graham-Smith explains that while the results of the 2017 ACE application rounds show that 67% of applicants gained positions in the mid-year round and a little over 50% in the end of year round, the overall trend shows no significant increase.

“This is not the case in medicine, every new graduate doctor has a place on an entry programme. This speaks to the chronic under-investment in nursing and a complete lack of progress on guaranteeing all new graduates of a place on a programme by 2018,” she says.

“While it is pleasing that 77% of Māori graduates and 83% of Pasifika graduates were employed, this should be 100% if there is any real commitment to having a nursing workforce that is representative of the population.

“Health Workforce NZ head is calling this a perfect storm as nursing has gone through a long period of under recruitment and training.This matches our research on nursing employment.
“We have an aging workforce and over 50s leaving. We are simply not attracting, training or retaining enough nurses to future proof our health care services,” Hilary Graham-Smith said.

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