• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

New Zealand welcomes overseas nurses as government works to retain talent

New Zealand welcomes overseas nurses as government works to retain talent

New Zealand is experiencing a severe shortage of nurses due to factors such as an aging population and retirements among experienced nurses.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand anticipates a shortfall of 15,000 nurses by 2035, emphasizing the critical need for immediate action.

The New Zealand government is rolling out policies to bolster resources for retaining skilled nurses. Initiatives include boosting funding for nurse training and retention, enhancing support for students financially, introducing incentives for experienced nurses to remain in the workforce, and widening access to online educational opportunities.

The government is collaborating with immigration and unions to recruit more nurses, with over 1200 visa applications received for positions within the New Zealand health system.

Furthermore, efforts are underway to incentivize individuals to pursue nursing training and to reintegrate the “latent nursing workforce,” which consists of former nurses without current practicing certificates.

The nursing shortage in New Zealand is characterized by a variety, arising from healthcare system restructuring, financial barriers hindering nursing education completion, recruitment challenges, and adverse impacts on patient care and safety.

To tackle this, the government is implementing policies to boost nurse training and retention, improve financial aid, incentivize experienced nurse retention, expand online education access, and enhance immigration measures for recruiting nurses, aiming to alleviate workforce pressures and maintain quality patient care nationwide.

Other policies the government is implementing to tackle the nursing shortage, include increasing clinical placements for nursing students, supporting an additional 700 clinical placements nationwide, improving pay by 14% for most nurses, easing migration barriers for overseas nurses, expanding rural and interdisciplinary training, creating 135 new training places annually for allied and scientific professionals, and aiming to build a workforce representative of communities across New Zealand.

These initiatives aim to address current workforce pressures and meet future challenges, as detailed in the Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora Health Workforce Plan 2023/24.

Immigration consultants play a vital role in addressing the nursing shortage in New Zealand by assisting internationally qualified nurses in navigating the immigration process, securing work visas, and settling into the local healthcare system, contributing to filling workforce gaps and ensuring a smooth transition.