Job numbers were up but so were applicants, leading to just under half of new graduate nurses being successful in the latest job round.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Health showed that 347 of the initial 701* new graduate applicants were matched with jobs in the July round of ACE nurse graduate job clearinghouse. This is equivalent to 49.5 per cent – slightly down on the 53 per cent success rate last year when 332 of 648 applicants were successful.

Nearly 390 positions had been available in the mid-year job round across 12 of the 20 district health boards (see table below) and six positions in two Southern Cross Hospitals – which was up on the 350 jobs on offer at the same time last year.

In the latest round, jobs were initially offered to 354 candidates but seven candidates declined positions or advised ACE that they had failed state finals. But by the end of August a further 48 candidates from the remaining talent pool had been matched with jobs, bringing the number of successful mid-year candidates up to 395 (56.3%) and leaving about 262 applicants still in the job-hunting pool.

Chief Nursing Officer Jane O’Malley said about 600 of the approximately 1800 New Zealand-trained nurses registered each year graduated in July and the goal was for all graduates to be employed. Data gathered since the ACE process began in 2012 found that 40-60 per cent are offered jobs before they have their state final exam results, 60-70 per cent are employed within five months and almost all are employed with 12 months.

O’Malley said in the latest round 251 (60 per cent) of the 421 applicants who had just sat their state finals were offered jobs in the initial round. A further 27 were employed from the talent pool, making a total of 278 (66 per cent) being employed within two months.

The majority of the latest ACE job offers were from across the three DHBs in the Auckland region (154), followed by 82 jobs offered by Canterbury DHB and 48 by Waikato DHB. Surgical (86) and medical (61) were the most common positions filled, followed by perioperative (37) and mental health and addictions (36). (See more details in tables below.)

In total, 466 of 701 initial applicants were applying to ACE for the first time (the 421 July graduates plus 45 graduates from earlier cohorts) and of these 276 (60 per cent) were successful in the first round. This is slightly down on the 62 per cent success rate in the initial round for first time applicants at the same time last year.

Seventy (33 per cent) of the 211 applicants who were applying for jobs through ACE for the second, third or more times were successful in their latest attempts. The ACE data also indicates that 20 (4 per cent) of the graduates from July last year are still seeking new graduate positions through ACE.

*N.B. Forty-four applications were withdrawn prior to the job-matching process, either because they had gained employment or failed to complete their degrees, bringing the total number of applicants taking part in the round down to 657. The same time last year 27 applicants withdrew before the match, bringing application numbers for the match down from 648 to 621.


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