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Task 
Health Workforce Australia (2014) produced a report Nursing Workforce Sustainability: Improving Nurse Retention and Productivity (called the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report). The key findings from the report were:  In common with other developed health systems, Australia faces a major challenge in 
sustaining a health workforce that will meet the rapidly rising demand for health care. Demand  is being driven by an ageing population living longer with more complex problems, combined  with rising costs of technology and treatment and increasing consumer expectations (p.1). 
Health Workforce Australia prepared two subsequent reports relating to modelling future nursing requirements1, 2 and in the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (2014) identified that: Health Workforce Australia (HWA) (2012). HW2025 Doctors, Nurses and Midwives (called HW2025). 

The Current Scenario of the Australian Nursing Workforce

The present Australian government are confronting an emergency in the nursing workforce area along with the rest of the world are confronting troubles for retaining their healthcare giving workforce (Buchan, O'may & Dussault, 2013). The main causative reason for this is the aging population among the healthcare workers, typically the nursing workforce as well as the patient population and the constant increases of clinical equipments in the healthcare setting (Mason, 2013). This has made many healthcare givers succumb to professional exhaustion and termination from their jobs. The shortage of healthcare and nursing workforce is very evident in the Australian health department, which lead to the implementation of the various retentive techniques in the healthcare settings. The primary aim of the report is to formulate the updated nursing workforce profile of the healthcare givers in Australia from the collective statistical data provided by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) website. Analyse the current scenario in the Australian health department in the supply of the workforce. Predict the future of the current workforce by scanning the environment. Assessing the geographical distribution of the workforce and critical appraisal of the recommendation by the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report published in 2014.

The life expectancy of the general population has increased with the advancement of medicine. The Australian government is facing similar issues with the reduction of nursing workforce, due to the same problem as well as failure to treat so much of the elderly population as of late. The clinical treatment in the current scenario is now focused on the variation of chronic diseases that requires more technical support, skilled expertise, mental and physical provided by the healthcare nursing workforce (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017). The professional pressure aided with loss of priority is making the nursing workforce to terminate their jobs, depression and professional exhaustion. According to a report provided by the Australian health department, it is expected that by 2040, there will be a 68% increases in health related expenditure for the most of it will be provided to the elderly population of 65 years and older (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017).

Workforce nature

2015

2012

2009

Count of heads

360,008

238,520

225,040

FTE nurses

331,015

212,659

198,924

FTE population per 1000,000

1138.2

936.4

905.9

No. of male nurses

10.5

10.4

9.8

Average age group  in years

44.2

44.3

44.2

Elderly group 55+ (%)

-

37.7

-

Table 1: Workforce characteristics of employed registered nurses as well as midwives

Source: (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015) 

Workforce nature

2015

2012

2009

Count of heads

51070

51,624

51,711

FTE nurses

48932

42,467

43,614

FTE population per 1000,000

-

187.0

198.2

No. of Male Nurses

10.5

9.2

8.9

Average age group  in years

44.2

46.0

44.9

Elderly group 55+ (%)

-

45.5

-

Table 2: Workforce characteristics of employed enrolled nurses as well as midwives

Source: (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015) 

Workforce nature

2015

2012

2009

Headcount

360,104

290,144

276,751

FTE nurses

305,000

255,174

242,521

FTE population per 1000,000

1,135

1,123.6

1,104.1

No of males

10.7

10.2

9.6

Average age group  in years

44.4

44.6

44.3

Elderly group 55+ (%)

39.0

39.1

36.3

Geographic Distribution of the Nursing Workforce

Table 3: workforce characteristics of all employed nurses

Source: (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015)

The above table is prepared from the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (HWA p. 8-9, 2015) by collecting data from the AIHW website (Home - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018).  The statistical data it is observed that out of 360,008 enrolled as professional caregivers but only 331,015 managed to professionally adopt in those healthcare facilities later. The aggregate of nursing caregivers was around 50 years on an average and mostly consisted of women caregivers than their male counterparts. Reviewing the alteration of the adjustment in the numbers, it can be concluded that since the year 2011, there has been an increase of 11% of the quantity of registered nurses and the present number is around 300,524. However, the amount of enrolled nurses and registered midwives has reduced to 0.3% and 21.2% respectively. Subsequently, it is noteworthy issue to worry that the expanding demand for the health services in Australia requires a gigantic medicinal service expertise so as to meet the demand can be satisfied with quality nursing services.

This section will discuss the current scenario of the Australian nursing workforce by conducting an environment scan and analysing the statistical data from Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Nurses Detailed report published in 2014. Comparing the state of Australian nursing standards with other international performances provides perspective into the current condition of the issue. In 2011 there were 10.1 nurses per 1,000 populations in Australia. This rate was higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.

The AIHW in 2012 published their finding on the nursing workforce for the first time, where the statistical data from 2007 to 2012 was provided, showing an unexpected amplification of the quantity of nursing professionals. Nevertheless, the publication also contemplated that this figure of the nursing workforce will diminish very quickly due to the fact that supply demand for nursing and health care workforce is very high along with the increases of professional dissatisfaction among the care givers nurses (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017).

The geographical distribution of nursing work force is predicated on state and territorial distribution, regional distribution. The tables below show various environmental distributions in the different regions and territories.

A total of 3,187 nurses and midwives employment was seen in Australia as of 2015, from the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander territory inhabitants. The statistic equals to 1.1% of the total employed nurses and midwives who confirmed their Indigenous status. The Northern Territory (NT) consisted of 2.4% and Tasmania 2.2% had the highest proportion of nurses and midwives who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, while Victoria (Vic) had the lowest 0.5%.

Assessment of Recommendations by the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report

The fig 4 describes the percentage of RNs and ENs employed different service sectors. The highest percentages of RNs 46 % and ENs 38 % work in the acute sector. The second highest percentage of RNs 22 % worked in other nursing, while for ENs, the second highest percentage worked in aged care.

In 2014 the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Health Ministers approved the publication of the report provided by Australian health department which provided a set of guidelines that would help addressing the ongoing issue of reduction of employees in the Australian healthcare facilities. The report addressed the following recommendations: 1.Leadership qualities

  • nurse managers who can lead improvement
  • Improvement of the evidence-base research
  • Encouragement for innovation
  1. Retention support for career
  • Improvement of educational plan for nurses
  • Monitoring employer expectations and nursing result
  • Increasing nursing employment
  • Balancing nurse workforce
  1. Productivity by innovation
  • Staff recruitment based on geographical location
  • Optimisation of nursing roles
  • Address barriers for innovation

All these points are quite valid even today but other recommendations can also be made like occupational therapy to minimize professional burnouts. Many researches have shown that occupational therapy sessions in the healthcare industry are very helpful for employee retention (Ruotsalainen et al., 2014). Improvement of remuneration and other beneficial policies for the nursing workforce can help solving the reduction of employees in healthcare facilities (Scott et al., 2015).

Conclusion

The report discussed above analyses the risk associated with nursing workforce and how the healthcare industry will balance the pressure of the occupation with respect to the growing age of the Australian population as seen in both the healthcare workforce and the general population. The Australian department of health has published recommendation which can be helpful if followed correctly. The additional suggestions include remuneration enhancement and occupational therapy for the staff members to minimize reduction of the workforce.

References:

Australia’s Future Health Workforce: Nurses. (2014). Health.gov.au. Retrieved 5 April 2018, fromhttps://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/34AA7E6FDB8C16AACA257D9500112F25/$File/AFHW%20-%20Nurses%20detailed%20report.pdf

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015, How many nurses and midwives are there? - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015/contents/how-many-nurses-and-midwives-are-there

Buchan, J., O'may, F., & Dussault, G. (2013). Nursing workforce policy and the economic crisis: a global overview. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 298-307.

Mason, J. (2013). Review of Australian government health workforce programs.

Nursing and midwifery labour force 2009. (2011). Aihw.gov.au. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/3287fac3-860d-4dfd-a630-be7a223e116d/13280.pdf.aspx?inline=true

Nursing and Midwifery Workforce, 2015 Who are nurses and midwives?. (2016). www.aihw.gov.au. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015/contents/who-are-nurses-and-midwives

Nursing and midwifery workforce. (2011). Aihw.gov.au. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/5385cfde-8057-4c36-9d10-af766181b6b2/14351.pdf.aspx

Nursing Workforce Sustainability, Improving Nurse Retention. (2014). Health.gov.au. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/29418BA17E67ABC0CA257D9B00757D08/$File/Nursing%20Workforce%20Sustainability%20-%20Improving%20Nurse%20Retention%20and%20Productivity%20report.pdf

OECD (2013), Health at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing. https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2013-en

Ruotsalainen, J. H., Verbeek, J. H., Mariné, A., & Serra, C. (2014). Preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 12(4).

Scott, I. A., Hilmer, S. N., Reeve, E., Potter, K., Le Couteur, D., Rigby, D., ...& Jansen, J. (2015). Reducing inappropriate polypharmacy: the process of deprescribing. JAMA internal medicine, 175(5), 827-834.

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Australian Nursing Workforce Profile And Future Trends. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/nursing-workforce-planning-clinical-equipments.

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My Assignment Help (2019) Australian Nursing Workforce Profile And Future Trends [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/nursing-workforce-planning-clinical-equipments
[Accessed 26 February 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Australian Nursing Workforce Profile And Future Trends [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 26 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/nursing-workforce-planning-clinical-equipments.

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