In Focus

The Future Nursing Workforce

Friday September 13, 2013 Fiona Stokes


Population factors such as ageing and increased life expectancy among the general population are expected to increase the demand for healthcare.  Concern has been raised within the health sector about the future size, skills and attributes of the nursing workforce.

These concerns are significant as nurses are the largest occupation group within the health sector and play a key role in the provision of health care.


In 2012 the Nursing Council of New Zealand commissioned BERL to undertake an analysis of the nursing workforce from 2010 to 2035 based on available workforce information and taking into account predicted changes in New Zealand’s population size and structure.


BERL developed four possible scenarios using economic modelling to illustrate how decisions made now about workforce supply are likely to impact on the size and make-up of the nursing workforce by 2035.


An executive summary of the report is available here.


Copies of the full report The Future Nursing Workforce Supply Projections 2010-2035 are available, and further information can be found on the Nursing Council of New Zealand website.