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NZ's nursing workforce in crisis, say advocates

The country's nursing workforce is said to be in crisis with concern more senior nurses will soon be lost overseas.

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Advocates say the proposed state sector wage freeze is ill-timed with concerns that more senior nurses will soon be lost overseas. Source: 1 NEWS

Advocates say the proposed state sector wage freeze is ill-timed as healthcare recruiters struggle with increasing demand for foreign nurses.

“At this time we do have a real crisis in our nursing departments,” NZ Nurses Organisation’s Kate Weston said.

It’s a crisis the organisation says isn't easy to fix.

“In the Auckland region alone, there are apparently as many as 800 vacancies.”

Weston says the ongoing loss of experienced nurses is not helped by the Government’s talk of a wage freeze.

“That's actually really causing a lot of concern and actually anger amongst our nurse members,” she told 1 NEWS.

There are concerns that better pay and conditions on offer in Australia will see more nurses head across the ditch.

Tomorrow is International Nurses Day - a day of recognition for the essential work nurses do and have taken on in the last year due to the pandemic.

However, the mood among many here is not of celebration, but of a lack of appreciation in the toughest of times.