The Labour Shortage Crisis: 2 potential solutions

Within the aged-care sector in New Zealand, the workforce shortage crisis has reached a tipping point. An estimated 20,000 more people will need residential aged care facilities in the next 10 years.  

An average of 15.9 people per 1000 population are already being cared for in aged residential care nationally, with the number expected to increase exponentially over time.

By contrast, the turnover of registered nurses over the year to December 2021 is 48 percent, according to the NZACA research. 900 registered nurses left the aged care sector in the past 12 months, with 70 percent going to District Health Boards.

The pandemic has worsened this crisis with immigration issues and border closures, leading many to leave the sector creating a huge demand for registered nurses within the aged-care industry.

These are the realities faced by those in the aged-care sector every day.

At DeoCare, we put value in providing a solutions-focused approach to recruitment. We work with our clients to find practical and sustainable solutions to their recruitment needs.

While there may not be an immediate answer to the above problems, we want to present two solutions that focus on Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) – which may help elevate the stress experienced by burnout staff.

  1. Build a Healthcare Assistant pathway

Due to prolonged borders closures, the sector has been unable to backfill the registered nurses (RN) it lost during the two years of the pandemic.

One way to address this issue now is to take an employer sponsored approach with international nurses who are yet to complete their Competency Assessment Program for Overseas Registered Nurses (CAP).

Employers can look at building a “Healthcare Assistant Pathway” for internationally qualified nurses, wherein those nurses interested to come to NZ and have passed their English Requirement test, can work as HCAs while they work towards achieving their CAP qualification.

This pathway will help them gain a hands-on experience while they study and provide the facilities with an extra resource to train.

  • Upskilling existing HCAs

Having built a pipeline of the healthcare assistant through the above employer sponsored approach, facilities can also focus on upskilling their existing pool of HCAs.

By strongly encouraging the current staff to upskill to a level of experience of RN will help elevate the stress off the nurses who can then focus on other tasks.

Simply having more HCAs qualified to provide medication to residents, takes a huge burden off the RNs who are currently facing a burnout.

At DeoCare NZ, we understand how difficult this can be. 

It is our mission to work with you to find a solution. Get in touch with us and let us help you relieve some of the stress in finding you the right person.