Nurse hiring to be streamlined

23:30, Jun 21 2012

A new application process limiting the number of health boards trainee nurses can apply to will reduce the number of graduates missing out on jobs, a nursing director says.

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board nursing and midwifery director Robyn Henderson said the Advanced Choice of Employment online recruitment tool would better distribute graduates into the region of their choice.

The transitional nurse-entry-to-practice work placement was essentially a fourth year of study, giving graduates experience of working in a clinical environment, she said.

In March, Ms Henderson told The Marlborough Express there were more trainee nurses than jobs available at Wairau or Nelson Hospital.

This forced many graduates overseas in search of employment, she said.

In January, the nurse-entry-to-practice programme accepted 27 of 45 graduates from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.


Last year, 22 of 33 graduates from the Nelson course were accepted onto the entry programme in Nelson-Marlborough, and 16 out of 29 in 2010.

Ms Henderson said the new application process was more robust. Graduates ranked their preferred health board from one to four. This replaced the system where they could apply to all 20 health boards and select their favourite once the offers had been made.

"It allows us to make more sensible recruitment decisions. Before, we would invite someone down from Auckland for an interview, organising flights and reference checks and then they take a job in Dunedin. Then we have to scramble to fill a position while some people miss out."

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the system made the recruitment process much simpler.

"Previously ... several health boards were processing an application for the same graduate and in some cases multiple boards offered them a position," Mr Ryall said.

This resulted in some graduates accepting a position that was not their first choice because they didn't want to miss out.

On the other hand some graduates accepted positions but pulled out when they were offered a job by their preferred board.

"Nurse graduates will now submit one application online which can go to a few boards, which they will rank in order of preference.

"The health boards receive the applications and rank the graduates in order of preference. The tool then matches the graduates and the health boards' preferences."

The Marlborough Express