May 30, 2013
Western Australia’s health department is looking to recruit more men to address a dire shortage of nurses.
Less than 10 per cent of nurses in WA are men.
The department is concerned the development of the health system could be stunted if the number of male nurses does not increase.
Departmental spokeswoman Sheryl Fewster says men bring different skills to the profession that could help to develop nursing in the state.
“Men are seen as an untapped workforce in the nursing industry,” Ms Fewster said.
“There really are endless opportunities for them.”
Nurses received a 14 per cent pay rise this year, making WA nurses the highest paid in Australia.
Nurse Mick Shack says he is proud to be a nurse.
“This is the sort of job you do because you love helping people,” Mr Shack says.
“It’s very rewarding when you see your patients walk out of the hospital happy and healthy.
“It’s true job satisfaction.”
Recent studies by the health department show that men are unaware of the career opportunities available in nursing.
The department aims to employ an extra 1700 nurses by 2014-15 but fears the lack of interest from men will hinder the health system.
Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation Lee Thomas says there is a growing shortage of nurses across the nation and the situation is only going to get worse.
University of Notre Dame nursing student Francis Baptist says he chose to study nursing because it is a field with plenty of room for postgraduate study and the possibility of entering more advanced medical fields after getting an initial degree.
“I like being able to study science and then use that science to better someone’s life,” Mr Baptist says.
Photo: Carly Wharton