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Graduate nurses unemployed

09 Jul 2007

Graduate nurses unemployed Nursing students are finding it hard to get jobs when they graduate, new figures have suggested.

A recent government census found that almost a third of new graduate nurses were still unemployed some six months after qualifying.

Of around 9,000 nurses who qualified between May and September 2006, nearly 3,000 were found to be without work in March 2007.

The census also indicated that over 50 per cent of physiotherapy graduates had also not yet found a job at that time.

Dr Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nursing, told the BBC: "I am hearing worrying stories from recently qualified nurses who are unable to get jobs because trusts are freezing entry level posts to save money.

"Not only is this a waste of tax payers' money but it is a waste of new and much needed nursing talent."

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Health played down rumours of an unemployment crisis in the profession.

The representative said: "The NHS currently has a healthy supply of new graduates thanks to increased investment in training, at a time when the NHS has hit a surplus.

"This does not mean unemployment, it means there is keen competition in some parts of the country.

"There is a lot of work taking place to ensure graduates are placed, to maximise employment possibilitiesÂ… we expect vacancies to become available in the natural cycle of staff turnover."

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