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Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says data from the system which matches graduates with employers shows hundreds more nurses are now in mental health services, surgical, and medical areas.

The national recruitment system, called ACE, provides accurate information much sooner for both nurse graduates and employers. It helps to streamline the recruitment process for both graduates and DHBs.

“The latest results show that 853 students, 61 per cent, of the 1,404 nurse graduates seeking work through the November 2016 ACE recruitment round are now employed,” says Dr Coleman.

“The top three areas where nurses find work continues to be surgical (182), medical (122) and mental health and addictions (116).

“We are also seeing a better reflection of the make-up of our population in our nursing workforce. Evidence suggests that matching the demographic of the workforce to the population improves health outcomes and access to services.

“This year 71 per cent of the 223 Māori nursing graduates, 58% of 858 the NZ European nursing graduates and 57% of the 82 Pacifica nurses are employed.”

The data from past ACE rounds suggests the vast majority of graduate nurses find employment over the following year.

Only three per cent of the November 2015 graduates are still looking for positions through ACE, which is in line with previous years.

The Government has funded 1,291 new graduate nurses in nurse entry to practice positions in 2016. This is supported by the Government investing $568 million extra into Vote Health for 2016/2017, taking the total health spend to a record $16.1 billion.

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