Rise in NZ nurses seeking to work in Australia
Recent data suggests that close to a tenth of nurses in NZ have registered to relocate to Australia (as of August 2022).
Almost 5000 nurses have registered with Australian health regulator AHPRA since August – a major step to beginning work in Australia.
Nurses are in short supply around the world, partly due to the rising demands of the job and increasing cost of living pressures.
NZ nurses’ wages are below the Australian equivalent and they are being attracted by additional benefits, including; sign-on bonuses, relocation assistance and salary packaging. Nurses are also able to work on short-term locum contracts in regional areas, attracting higher wages.
There’s little doubt that the implementation of nurse-to-patient ratios in all mainland states excluding NSW, who are looking to follow suit in the coming months, has had a part to play in this increase of applications.
Approximately a quarter of all nurses in NZ are migrants. The profession alongside midwives, and specialist doctors have recently been added to the ‘green list’, allowing easier access to residency.
NZ nurses’ wages were also lifted by up to 14%, bringing them closer to Australian wages.
This illustrates the state of affairs for nurses internationally. The pay and conditions are not up to scratch and nurses are now opting for substantial lifestyle changes in an attempt to obtain sustainable working conditions.
Nurses’ wages in NSW have been declining in real terms for a decade, while the industry is in crisis.
The new NSW government has committed to scrapping the NSW public sector wage cap and implementing safe nurse-to-patient ratios starting in five key areas, including ED, ICU and in the wards.
The NSWNMA will continue working with the new NSW government to implement a fair pay increase and safe nurse-to-patient ratios to ensure nurses and midwives in Australia get the pay and conditions that they deserve.