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Nursing Jobs are a Struggle to Recruit For! Aged Care Centres are Screaming Out for Registered Nurses.

Did you know that ‘Registered Nurse’ is the top searched term in the Healthcare and Medical industry?

The nursing profession has always been an essential pillar of healthcare, and its importance has become more pronounced than ever before in the wake of the ongoing global pandemic. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly challenging to recruit qualified registered nurses for nursing jobs, particularly in the aged care sector. Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, and they play an indispensable role in providing quality healthcare services to residents.   

Staff Turnover

Despite the critical role that nurses play, there has been a shortage of registered nurses in Australia in recent years. The high rate of staff turnover may also result from inadequate remuneration and employee benefits. A study conducted by the Australia Nursing and Midwifery Federation in 2022 found that Registered Nurses have the largest percentage of participants who reported intending to leave their role within the next five years (39%) and/or retiring (15%).

Registered Nurses need to be compensated appropriately for their knowledge, skills, and experience. The top three reasons for nursing jobs vacancies were:

🤔 inadequate staffing

😏 stressful work environment

😙 finding better pay/benefits elsewhere

Culture Fit

Culture fit is an important factor in hiring registered nurses for nursing jobs. Aged Care organisations need nurses who not only have the necessary skills and experience but who also fit well within the organization’s culture and values.

Nursing jobs require staff members who are caring, compassionate, and empathetic. They must be able to work as a team and communicate effectively with their colleagues and residents. By prioritising culture fit in hiring, aged care organisations can build a cohesive and supportive team of registered nurses, leading to improved patient care and job satisfaction. Different providers are doing skills based testing to fill their nursing jobs, including psychometric assessments and profiling. This is in addition to experiential and values based interviewing, and reference checking.

At P.J. Recruitment and Executive search, we adopt some of these strategies and collect additional data points along the way, which assess ‘fit’ and behaviours. We also take pride in visiting our client sites, where possible, so we can see where our placed candidates are going to be working. This helps us put together a vivid picture of ‘person fit/spec’ and enables us to get it right most of the time!

Nurses who fit well within an organisation’s culture are more likely to be engaged in their work, provide high-quality care to residents, and stay with the organisation for the long term.

Job Flexibility in Hours

Nursing jobs require a high level of flexibility in working hours – both from an employer and employee perspective. Aged care facilities sometimes require nursing staff to work long shifts, including overnight and weekends. Nursing staff may also be required to work on public holidays.

Flexible schedules are also becoming more common in nursing jobs in Australia. This can include options such as compressed work weeks, where nurses work longer hours over fewer days, or variable schedules, where nurses have more control over their start and end times. This can attract a larger candidate pool.

Job flexibility in hours can provide numerous benefits for registered nurses in Australia. It allows them to balance their work with other responsibilities, such as family or education, and can improve their overall quality of life. Job flexibility in nursing jobs in Australia can also lead to improved job satisfaction and retention rates, allows nurses to maintain their skills (without necessarily having to carry a full-time workload) and stay engaged in their work, while still having time for other activities outside of work.

Job flexibility in hours is a valuable benefit for registered nurses in Australian nursing jobs and can lead to improved job satisfaction and retention rates.


Stickability refers to the ability to persevere through challenges, setbacks, and difficult situations. In nursing, stickability is essential for success, as nurses must often navigate complex patient care situations, work long hours, and manage high levels of stress. So it’s indeed important that they ‘stick’ – that is remain with the employer beyond their probation period.

Nurses who possess strong stickability are able to stay focused and committed to their work, even in the face of obstacles and difficulties. They are able to manage their emotions and maintain a positive attitude, which can have a significant impact on patient care and outcomes.

They are also more likely to succeed in their careers. They are able to adapt to new situations, learn from their experiences, and continually improve their skills and knowledge. This can lead to opportunities for career advancement and personal growth.

What are we doing about it?

  • The government has committed to funding of 15% pay rise for aged care workers effective from June 30 2023.
  • Increasing the number of nursing places in universities to encourage more people to take up nursing as a profession.
  • Offering financial incentives to nurses who work in regional and remote areas where there is a high demand for healthcare services.
  • Providing funding for training programs and scholarships to encourage nurses to specialise in areas where there is a shortage of skilled nurses, such as mental health, aged care, and emergency departments.
  • Introducing new visa categories to attract overseas-trained nurses to work in Australia and fill the gaps in the local workforce.
  • Improving the working conditions of nurses by providing better salaries, job security, and career development opportunities

In conclusion, nursing jobs are a struggle to recruit for, and aged care facilities are screaming out for Registered Nurses. The high staff turnover rate, the need for stickability, ascertaining and getting the right culture fit, and job flexibility in hours are just some of the challenges that aged care recruiters face when filling nursing jobs. However, with the right incentives, such as remuneration packages and employee benefits, and by creating a positive and supportive work environment, strong team culture and leadership, nursing jobs can be an attractive career path for individuals seeking a fulfilling career that can make a significant difference in people’s lives. 

Frequently asked questions:

What qualifications do I need for nursing jobs in aged care in Australia?

To work as a nurse in aged care in Australia, you will need to hold a degree or diploma in nursing and be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Some employers may also require additional certifications or training in aged care nursing or related areas.

What skills and experience are important for nursing jobs in aged care?

Nurses working in aged care should have strong clinical skills, including experience in wound care, medication management, and geriatric care. They should also have excellent communication skills and be able to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, as well as patients and their families.

What is the job outlook for nursing jobs in aged care in Australia?

The job outlook for nursing jobs in aged care in Australia is strong, with a growing demand for aged care services due to the country’s aging population. According to the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, employment in the aged care sector is expected to grow strongly over the next five years, with an estimated 50,000 additional jobs created by 2023. This creates numerous opportunities for nurses with a passion for caring for older Australians.

If you’d like to talk with one of our Recruitment Specialists about filling a Registered Nurse vacancy, or if you are a Registered Nurse looking for a new job, reach out on (02) 9144 4544.