Government adds 830 more clinical placements for student nurses in bid to combat shortage

The government has announced it's adding 830 more clinical placements for training nurses in a bid to combat the workforce shortage. 

Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced on Sunday, in 2023's July and August intake the government will make it possible for 130 more students to begin their nursing studies nationwide, students who are on waiting lists and would have otherwise been deferred to 2024.

"In addition to the next semester's 130 placements, for the 2024 intake, Te Whatu Ora is working with nurse education providers to support an additional 700 clinical placements nationwide," Dr Verrall said.

"This means that from 2024 we are supporting a significant increase in the number of nurses we train domestically, currently around 7400, boosting the growth of our future nursing workforce by an estimated 10 percent."

The changes come after the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's (NZNO) Maranga Mai campaign called for more people to train to be nurses.

"An increase in 830 clinical placement opportunities means hundreds more home-grown nurses can gain their registration to work in New Zealand."

Clinical placements are required by the Nursing Council of New Zealand and are an "integral part" of their nursing practice education.

"Boosting our workforce with more nurses in our hospitals, health centres, aged residential care facilities and communities means more care for everyone."

Minister Verall said since 2021 1000 more nurses have been hired and pay has increased for most by 14 percent, she says "we are starting to see results".

"More than 8000 nurses registered for the first time in the 2022/2023 registration year, a 6-0 percent increase from around 5000 nurses who registered for the first time in the previous year."