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Nurses - give and take in the work force
Old 16th November 2009, 06:03 PM   #1
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PERTH WA
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Sheelagh Brigid Blanckenberg Registered Migration Agent
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Default Nurses - give and take in the work force

Give and take in nursing workforce
Article from: The Advertiser

November 16, 2009

IT seems like a simple equation. Australia desperately needs nurses and many nurses trained overseas want to work here. Of course things are never that simple, particularly in the health sector.

The nursing workforce is a mature one, with about half the present staff expected to retire in the next decade or so. Not enough new nurses are being trained.

Nursing is no longer the attractive vocation it once was. The pay often is not enough to compensate for a difficult job with long, antisocial hours and immense stress.

A common misconception is that bringing in skilled migrants takes jobs away from locals. With nursing this is not the case.

Nursing has its own rewards and many people derive great satisfaction from the work. However, not enough people are willing to take it up to fill the gap that retiring nurses will leave. This puts our state, our country and much of the developed world in an increasingly difficult situation.

South Australia will suffer more than most places because of our higher median age. There will be more people needing more care in future.

We already are recruiting hundreds of nurses from India, China and the Philippines. We need thousands.

Business SA is a vocal advocate of skilled migration, and skilled migration is a critical piece of SA's future. It is something that needs to be managed carefully.

Research has shown that overseas-trained medical staff - nurses and doctors - are up to scratch, highly educated and well trained.

English competency is sometimes an issue, especially when it comes to culturally specific words or concepts, but this is something that can be learnt and it is rarely something that causes serious problems.

A bigger issue is our obligation to the poorer nations we are taking nurses from.

Business SA sees nurses as precious resources, which they are, but we do not have the right to just take resources from another country without giving back.

The State Government is talking to Vietnam about an "ethical and a morally good way" to recruit nurses.

The Government wants to link Vietnamese institutions to SA institutions, and help train the workforce there, then bring some of them here. Similar mutually beneficial programs should be set up in other countries.

As the Government tackles this shortage it must make sure no one is left worse off.



I love the comment "Business SA sees nurses as precious resources" . Its about blinking time!! I vote they get paid the same sort of salaries our high-flying corporate directors earn .
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