Nursing schools across the country are increasingly being overwhelmed with new graduates who have not yet found work.
In a report published on Wednesday, the Centre for Nursing Research at the University of Melbourne says Australia’s current system is not working to prepare nurses for the workforce, and that this has led to a significant increase in deaths and serious injuries.
“The only thing that’s working is that we’re not seeing enough nursing graduates in the workforce,” Dr Jana Van Dyke, a senior lecturer in nursing, said.
“This is not going to stop us from seeing a nursing crisis in the future.”
The report highlights the number of deaths and hospital admissions linked to nursing in Australia.
It notes that in the last five years, Australia’s nursing deaths rose by 3.7 per cent, and the number admitted to hospital rose by 2.6 per cent.
However, the report also noted that Australia’s hospitalisation rates have increased over the same period.
Dr Van Dykel said Australia’s overall population has increased by 4 per cent over the past decade.
“If we are going to have a future workforce in Australia, we need to be prepared to have more nurses,” she said.
Dr Jantje Wiese, a former director of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and now a professor at Melbourne’s RMIT University, said the problem was the current system was “not working”.
“The current system does not really protect people from getting involved in the nursing workforce,” she told Al Jazeera.
“There is an emphasis on training people, but there is not enough training, particularly on teaching, and I think that’s really going to be a problem.”
Dr Wieset said there was also a “culture of complacency” in the industry.
“A lot of nurses have never been in the workplace, they have never seen a patient,” she explained.
In addition to the increase in nursing deaths, the study found that the Australian Nursing Association reported that the number working in nursing in 2016-17 was more than double the number in 2013-14. “
I think there is a culture of complacent nursing.”
In addition to the increase in nursing deaths, the study found that the Australian Nursing Association reported that the number working in nursing in 2016-17 was more than double the number in 2013-14.
“These changes are not necessarily caused by changes in the system, but rather by the way we train,” Dr Wie said.
The study also looked at the number and types of facilities in Australia that were used to train nursing graduates.
“We know that the current model is not good for the industry,” Dr Van dyke said.
It’s not just the system in Australia where nurses have been at risk of death and serious injury in recent years.
In 2015, the ABC revealed that a new study found there was a surge in deaths related to stress at a nursing home in Sydney.
The report, by the University’s Health and Safety and Medical Ethics Research Unit, also revealed that an increase in cases of serious injuries was linked to increased use of “supervised” nursing facilities.
Dr Wierke said that Australia needs to address the problem of overtrained nurses.
“Nursing is an area that we know has an increased risk of mortality,” she added.
“It is an absolute risk to the population and yet we are not doing enough.”
The CSIRO said it was taking the issue seriously and had implemented a range of changes to improve the training of new nurses.
However there were some key problems that still need to addressed before it can begin to address these issues, the CSIRO’s chief executive officer, Tim Wark, said in a statement.
“In recent years, the Australian Medical Association has raised concerns about a lack of training, and this is reflected in the overall number of nursing graduates entering the workforce in the Australian system, particularly in NSW,” he said.
However Dr Wyer said she believed it was a matter of education and awareness.
“At the moment, there is an under-resourcing of nursing, so that is one of the things we have to address, and we need the right education system to ensure that we are providing the best possible training to nurses,” Dr van dyke added.
The CSRI study highlighted several areas where it identified significant problems, including: a lack or shortage of qualified trainees, with an alarming increase in the number without a degree in the past five years; a lack and shortage of experienced nursing graduates, with the number requiring further training falling by one third between 2010 and 2017; and a lack in training for the development of new technologies, such as wearable technology, which is currently being developed by a company called Bionic.
The research also found that some of the most popular nursing courses in Australia are not delivering the results expected of them.
“As well as the lack of qualified nurses, there are a number of issues related to lack of resources, which has increased in recent times,” Dr Sibby said.
“[There are] a number problems with the training that is being delivered in the current nursing industry,