About the campaign

There’s a shortage of nurses in Queensland and it’s affecting patient care.

We’re so concerned that we launched a campaign to show just how critical the problem is.

We’ve run television ads and newspaper ads, and we’ll be rolling out activities in local communities.

The problem

The problem isn’t simple.

There’s already a critical shortage of nurses – resulting from years of neglect of recruitment and retention strategies.

In fact, in the state’s public hospitals – conservative estimates reveal there’s already a shortage of 1,400 nurses.

As the population continues to rise Queensland will be 14,000 nurses short by 2014.

For a number of years there’s been a flow of nurses from our hospitals for reasons such as stress, workloads, violence, or a lack of support, education or recognition.

Many more are considering leaving.

Combine that with the predicted baby boomer retirement bulge – where many more nurses are expected to retire in the not so distant future (in 2005 the average age of an employed nurse was 45.1 years) – and we’ve got a serious problem.

It’s not only nurses leaving our hospitals that’s causing the problem either.

Governments and employers have failed dismally in making nursing an attractive career option. Why would anyone chose to work such long and unflexible hours, with such incredible responsibilities, without room to progress within their field, and with little recognition?

Nurses are caring people and put the patient’s interests first – but there’s only so much we can take.

How does this problem affect you?

Without enough nurses the chances of things going wrong are much greater.

Research shows that there are significant relationships between nurse staffing and patient outcomes.

Risks of the occurrence of adverse events including disease and death are all greatly increased when an inadequate number of nurses is available for the delivery of safe, quality care.

Did you know that you’re already taking the chance on all of these things? There aren’t enough nurses now and it’s only going to get much worse.

Much more can and must be done to retain working nurses and midwives and to recruit more to care for us.

We need the state and federal government, policy makers and employers to take action now.

Our Action Plan

We’ve come up with an Action Plan which identifies the key areas which need to be addressed in order stem the flow of nurses and midwives from our hospitals and attract more to care for you.

We’re offering a new way of doing things – which delivers for everyone.

In these times of financial stress we need to be smarter. This plan is about the more effective and efficient use of resources to address critical issues.

The strategies used to date have only been the finger in the dyke – the tsunami is on its way.

We have a plan, we now need your help to ensure governments and employers take action.