On Friday morning I met Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey and QLD Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Lee Johnson. They have an important Easter safety message for Queensland families:
The states newest nursing graduates are among those concerned about future job prospects in Queensland following reports there may be no graduate positions available for the 2013 intake.
Professor Helen Edwards, Head of QUT nursing school said she had been given no official indication as to the number of graduate positions available.
“But we have been informed there may be no graduate positions offered,” Professor Edwards said.
In Queensland alone it’s estimated there will be approximately 4000 new nursing graduates at the end of this year.
Figures provided by a Queensland Health spokesperson highlight the steady decrease in job offers for nursing graduates over recent years.
From 2009, offers were at a height of 946; this decreased to 785 at the start of 2012, before recent health cuts.
“We are aware that there may be an issue experienced in the coming year in having sufficient numbers of graduate employment opportunities,” a Queensland Health spokesperson said.
Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) secretary Beth Mohle was concerned cuts in the number of graduate positions being offered would affect the Queensland nursing sector in the future.
“If people haven’t got confidence they will be able to get a job after they finish their course of study why would they invest time, effort and money in the form of HECS,” Ms Mohle said.
“We’re already hearing anecdotally from students that the confidence is waning.”
Ms Mohles’ concern for the future of health in Queensland stems from figures which suggest, come 2015 there will be a shortage of “between 5000-6000 nurses and midwives” in Queensland.
“There’s huge workforce pressures already, it just makes no sense at all to be sacking people right now or cutting budgets,” Ms Mohle said.
Third year, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) nursing student Kylee Mann, believes people would be discouraged from studying nursing in the future.
“One of the main reasons I started studying nursing was because of the shortage and apparently they were needed,” Ms Mann said.
“But three years later that’s not the case.”
By Lauren Geldard