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New nurses still unemployed

19th October 2006

10072006_nursesstation1.jpgA survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has found that nearly three quarters of newly qualified nurses are still without a permanent job.

The RCN conducted the survey to examine the impact of NHS deficits and recruitment freezes on nurses at the start of their careers.   The survey of 507 new nurses found that 71% were still searching for a job at entry level months after graduating.  93% of the nurses surveyed either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that recruitment freezes and job cuts were the reason why they were having difficulty finding a permanent job and 85% would consider changing professions if the problem continued.

The survey also found that 86% were not confident about finding a permanent position and 92% thought the current situation would deter others from wanting to become a nurse.  Student nurses were also surveyed and found to be concerned about their future, with two-thirds saying they did not believe they would find a permanent job when they qualified and over a third saying the situation had made them consider abandoning their course.

RCN general secretary, Dr Beverly Malone, said that 180,000 nurses were due to retire from the NHS over the next decade and that action needed to be taken now to replace them.  She expressed grave concerns over patient care and added, "The period straight after qualifying is the single most important time in a nurse's career. Unless we welcome them into the profession then, we risk losing them forever."

The Department of Health said they thought the RCN had overestimated and that there were still jobs available for newly qualified nurses in some parts of the country.


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Article Information

Title: New nurses still unemployed
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 950
Date Added: 19th Oct 2006


BBC News

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