Glasshouse nurse in a desperate fight for work
A GLASSHOUSE nursing graduate has applied for hundreds of jobs with no real luck, a disheartening situation she says highlights the drastic shortage of nursing jobs in Queensland.
Narelle McDonald (pictured), who graduated as a Registered Nurse late last year, thought her grinding search for work had finally produced results earlier this week when she was offered a position, only to learn it was for just $21 an hour and would include cleaning bathrooms and toilets, with no shift allowance and night shifts.
She said the going rate for registered nurses was $32 an hour.
Her union advised her to reject the offer. "I studied hard not to be offered something that is almost abuse of a situation," Ms McDonald said.
"The director of care even told me at my interview that she noticed there were many new grad nurses out of jobs.
"I now know they are taking advantage of our desperation.
"This is the real situation out here for nurses - not many people are aware."
Ms McDonald had thought she had worked out a magic formula - painstakingly researching each service and customising her cover letters to the key personnel for each job.
However, it still ended with disappointment.
She feared the competition for work would get worse in coming weeks.
"Those who graduated last year are now competing with the latest graduates finishing mid-year this year," she said.
Queensland Health was asked to respond to the shortage claims, including its expectations for the future and any advice it has for graduate nurses seeking work.
"Our priority is to place the 75% of applicants that are domestic Queensland educated and trained graduate registered nurses who applied for the 2013 recruitment round," Dr Frances Hughes, Queensland's Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, said.
"As at July 4, 2013, 606 offers have been made to graduates - this represents 22% of all valid applications."