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Graduate registered nurse practice readiness in the Australian context : an issue worthy of discussion [article in press]
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by M El Haddad, Lorna MoxhamLorna Moxham, John BroadbentJohn Broadbent
An ageing Australian population coupled with declining nursing numbers is predicted to have a significant impact on the Australian Healthcare industry, with numbers of nurses expected to be in greater demand at a time when the need for nursing care is on the rise. The report released recently by Health Workforce Australia predicted a potential shortage of approximately 110,000 nurses by 2025. In Queensland alone, the Queensland Nursing Union estimates the shortage of nurses to be closer to 10,000 positions by 2016 and 14,000 positions by 2020 based on the anticipated Queensland Health hospital expansions. The Commonwealth Government has responded by increasing funding to train more registered nurses across Australia. Hence a significant number of graduate registered nurses are expected and required to join the workforce. However, an analysis of the literature reveals that opinions differ between clinicians and education providers as to whether recently graduated registered nurses are adequately prepared for the challenges of the current healthcare system. Even though much research has been done in Australia on the issue of transition support programmes, graduate registered nurses’transition to practice remains problematic and is perceived to pose a significant challenge to healthcare industry. This paper contributes to the contemporary discourse on graduate registered nurses’ practice readiness at a time when a forecasted nursing shortage, the difficulties in accessing sufficient quality clinical placements and the need for fiscal responsibility pose added challenges to education providers and the healthcare industry.