Nurse leadership must drive solutions to more than 9,000 nursing vacancies

The Australian College of Nursing

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is calling for greater investments in nurse leadership and professional development in response to new data outlining the extent of Australia’s workforce shortages.

Quarterly data from the National Skills Priority List released today, highlighted 9,266 advertised vacancies for registered nurses, making it the highest in-demand profession in Australia.

Australian College of Nursing (ACN) CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said the data was unsurprising to nurses and that ACN has been advocating for action to address the workforce crisis.

“Today’s data draws attention to the urgent need to recruit and retain nurses,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.

“When nurses lead, society follows, and an investment in nurses is an investment in the health of all Australians.

“ACN has been travelling across the country to places like Hobart, Burnie, Melbourne, Cairns and Brisbane to hear directly from nurses about the solutions required to tackle shortages in their local areas. We will be visiting Sydney and Canberra in the weeks ahead.

“A message we hear again and again is to invest in our nurses to prevent the exodus of our highly skilled nursing leaders.

“Retention must be a priority focus.

“An easy-to-implement solution is to support nurses of all ages and career levels to receive leadership training and professional development.

“This will assist with recruitment and retention by demonstrating our extensive skills and value, as well as providing a clear pathway for early-career nurses looking to progress their careers.

“There is no single solution to addressing the complexities of the workforce crisis, and ACN continues our calls for all jurisdictions to implement a number of measures focused on supporting current and future nurses.

“We have recently advocated for a one-off waiving of HECS debt, improved support for overseas nurses wishing to call Australia home and a tax-free pandemic bonus.

“I look forward to the outcomes from Friday’s State and Territory Skills Ministers Meeting and welcome them to meet with me to discuss the solutions I am hearing from my nursing colleagues on the ground.

“We must invest in our profession immediately to ensure future generations of Australians continue to receive high-quality nursing care.

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