A complex set of factors and trends affect supply and demand in the nursing workforce market, including budget pressures, efficiency measures, productivity, demographics, employment legislation, government benefits system, immigration, migration and skill mix. In recent years, a number of these trends have led to increasing competition in the labour market, particularly for new graduates. According to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, an estimated 3,000 nursing graduates from 2013 have been unable to find work in Australian hospitals.

This is supported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Report 2015, which states that as many as 33 percent of nurses and midwives who finished their training last year were unemployed and many were working as casuals seeking more hours. With only 15 percent of graduate respondents securing permanent employment in the industry, competition for labour is increasing for both undergraduate entry and graduate professions within the health care labour market. From a State perspective, more than 280 graduates in South Australia and 400 in Western Australia had also not found work in 2015, while just 600 out of 2500 graduates from Queensland were employed in the industry.

Despite expected growth in patient volumes over the next five years, industry employment is projected to increase at a slower rate than revenue. The industry is labour-intensive, with wages accounting for the largest cost, and with various levels of government facing budgetary pressures, hospital funding is expected to be reduced where possible. Whilst the number of registered nurses and midwives has risen 7 percent, from 330,680 in 2011 to 353,000 in 2014, the number of well-educated, qualified nurses and midwives looking for work has doubled over the same period.

These figures highlight the importance of preparing professional documentation and developing interview skills to secure the right job for you. Your resume is the first impression that your future employer will receive of you so do not underestimate the importance of a concise, professional and well-written application. The majority of government roles also require candidates to respond to specific key selection criteria which are designed to help make the most accurate match between the requirements of a position and the skills of an applicant. No matter how well-qualified or suited you are to a position, if you do not describe your ability to meet the specific criteria, your application will not make it through to the interview stage.

So what happens when you do receive that call for an interview? The interview is an opportunity to meet potential employers, inform them about what you know and demonstrate that you are the applicant most deserving of the position. Interviews can be a stressful or daunting experience, however if you are adequately prepared, you will feel more confident and therefore better able to provide appropriate answers to the questions. Whether you are a new nursing graduate or seeking new opportunities, Nursing Resumes are here to help with professional resumes, key selection criteria and interviewing coaching. If you get your dream job, the investment will have been more than worth it!


Sydney Morning Herald, June 2015
Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Nurses, August 2014
IBISWorld Industry Report – Health Services in Australia, July 2015
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Report 2015
ABC News, May 2014