Graduate nurses told there's no work for them

DESPITE long-standing complaints about a state-wide nurse shortage, graduating nurses are being turned away by cash-strapped public hospitals. 

New South Wales Nurses Association secretary Brett Holmes said at least 12 trainee nurses graduating at Liverpool Hospital this month were told they would not be offered full-time work. 

NSW Health said 15 per cent of the Hunter New England Area Health Service trainee intake did not get jobs. 

Despite investing $50,000 per trainee nurse position, the NSW Government now says there is limited need for them. The one-year program involves 15 weeks of study at TAFE and 37 weeks of clinical practice in public hospitals. The nurses earn a base salary of $34,197 plus shift penalties and overtime, with TAFE fees covered. 

Mr Holmes wrote to Health Director-General Debora Picone last week demanding an explanation. 

"I am surprised that NSW Health agencies would consider the investment of more than $50,000 in training per trainee enrolled nurse so insignificant that it did not warrant further employment of enrolled nurses," he wrote.

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