June 2020
Authored by Dr Frances Hughes, Chair Nursing Leadership Group

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Introduction and problem definition

Aged Residential Care (ARC) has not been, and still is not, a preferred destination or career pathway for sufficient New Zealand nursing graduates or experienced nurses, yet it is a highly complex area where their services and skills are critically needed. Historically there has been a reliance on internationally qualified registered nurses (IQNs) to fill the staffing gap and provide service in age-related residential care services.

This issue has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated border restrictions. These events will create serious problems for staffing and resident care in the ARC sector over the next 12 months, and if no effective action is undertaken this situation will become critical.


Our goal is for a sustainable aged care workforce made up of predominantly New Zealand nursing graduates, which in turn creates improved outcomes for aged residential care residents.

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Dr Frances Hughes
NLG Chair