In most of the major cities in Australia, there is a critical shortage of nurses across different hospitals and aged care facilities. This has mainly arises from years of neglected recruitment and retention strategies. The shortage of nurses in Australia means that the nurses all around the world would be getting a golden opportunity to try their hands at establishing a nursing career in Australia.
Currently in the State of Queensland there are considerable shortages of nurses in accident and emergency, critical/intensive care, midwifery, mental health, community care, aged care and indigenous health. A lot of people have migrated to this state in the past few years and this has led to consequent demand on health services, resulting in an absolute shortage of nursing professionals.
The number of nurses in most of the important and major states in Australia are below the national average which is 1107 nurses per 100,000 population. Since the population in the major states and cities in Australia are on a rapid rise a major shortfall of nurses is expected by the year 2014 across the public, private and aged-care sectors.
The shortages of nurses in aged care sectors are difficult to determine as there are no reliable information and stats related to staffing shortages. Moreover the poor wages and conditions on offer and the lack of incentives add more to the shortage of nurses. As per the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AHWI) (2005), over the next 20 years Australia will be losing around 60% of the existing employed registered and enrolled nurse labour force through retirement. This would surely be posing real issues in the health care sector, and most of the hospitals in Australia will starve of experienced nurses if they do not plan and take necessary actions as soon as possible.