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'Lack of jobs' for trainee nurses

30th June 2006

The Royal College of Nursing has said nurses were still needed despite significant job shortages for new nurses.

Thousands of newly qualified nurses and other health professionals will be without jobs by the time they graduate this year.

A survey of 20 universities suggested that more than 80 per cent of nurses qualifying this summer have yet to find a job, compared to 30 per cent this time last year.

Some trusts have imposed recruitment freezes because of mounting deficits.

The Department of Health said there were jobs for newly qualified nurses, but they needed to be flexible on location. The department described the survey as "limited" - and said it ignored the fact that the number of nurses working in the NHS had increased by 85,000 since 1997.

The Council of Deans, which represents health faculties and did the research, said the situation was very serious.

It warned of significant consequences for unemployed nurses who have incurred considerable student debt, and fears course applications may be affected.

The survey also suggests only a quarter of students who have already graduated from one London university have found work. And just five per cent from a North East Midwifery faculty have secured a post.

 

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