There’s been a staggering rise in the number of Australian nurses and midwives venturing overseas for work, up almost 400 per cent in five years.
The latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show there were 2047 nurses working abroad in 2007 and that figure last year jumped to 10,166 – an increase of 396.6 per cent.
The Nursing and Midwifery Workforce 2011 report provides an insight into the demographic and employment characteristics of nurses and midwives who were registered in Australia last year.
The report shows the workforce is on the rise, up 6.8 per cent on 2007 figures, with 326,669 registered nurses and midwives in 2011, comprising 268,018 registered nurses and 58,651 enrolled nurses.
But the Institute has warned while the workforce is growing it’s not keeping pace with Australia’s population.
The report also reveals there were 36,074 midwives in 2011, while nine out of 10 nurses and midwives are female, at 90.1 per cent, and almost two in five of all employed nurses and midwives are aged 50 or more.
Nurses and midwives also work an average of 32.8 hours a week while 7708 people completed registered nurse undergraduate training in 2010, with another 3938 completing enrolled nurse vocational courses.
The statistics show there were 2212 nurses or midwives identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, representing 0.8 per cent of all employed nurses and midwives.
Other statistics include:
24,333 nurses work in medical, where the average age is 41.6, 9.3 per cent are male and the average weekly hours are 33.1
23,735 work in surgical, where 87.7 per cent are clinical nurses
15,083 work in both medical and surgical and work an average of 31.8 hours a week
40,443 work in aged care where the average age is 48.5 and 53.9 per cent are aged 50 or more
13,939 work in community health, where 47.2 per cent are aged 50 and over and the average age is 47.7 per cent
27,344 work in critical care and emergency where 14.7 per cent are male
4659 work in family, maternal and child health, where the average age is 48.5, 50.6 per cent are aged 50 and over, and just 1.1 per cent are male
12,576 work in general