Demand for registered nurses expected to grow
Demand for registered nurses is high, and expected to continue growing due to:
- increasing need for nursing care as the population ages
- older nurses retiring – the New Zealand Nurses Organisation reports 50% of nurses will retire by 2035
- funding in the 2019 Wellbeing Budget for nurses to work in mental health, addictions, child wellbeing, and on school-based programmes
- an international shortage of nurses.
Te Whatu Ora estimates New Zealand needs 4,800 more registered nurses to meet demand.
A number of registered nurse roles appear on the Governments' Green List: aged care, child and family health, community health, critical care and emergency, developmental delay, disability and rehabilitation, medical practice, medical, mental health, paediatrics, perioperative, surgical, and registered nurse nec [not elsewhere classified], plus nurse practitioner.
This means the Government is actively encouraging these skilled registered nurses from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Enrolled nurse also appears on Immigration New Zealand's Green List. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled enrolled nurses from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to Te Whatu Ora there are nearly 70,000 registered or enrolled nurses in New Zealand in 2023..
Ways for new graduates to find their first job
Chances of getting a job as a new graduate are best if you:
- apply for roles through the Advanced Choice of Employment (ACE) programme or the Ministry of Health’s voluntary bonding scheme
- are willing to work in areas of high need as a nurse in aged care, mental health, or community organisations such as Plunket
- are willing to move to parts of New Zealand that need nurses most.
Types of employers varied
About half of nurses are employed by Te Whatu Ora Health NZ. Others work for:
- private hospitals
- doctors' practices, iwi and Pacific organisations, family planning clinics and other community organisations such as Plunket
- rest homes and nursing homes
- private health trusts and providers