This report outlines the workforce characteristics of nurses and midwives in 2012.
Size of nursing and midwifery workforce
- In 2012, the total number of nurses and midwives registered in Australia was 334,078, a 6.8% (312,828) increase since 2008.
- There were 35,632 midwives registered and 30,792 employed, almost all of whom were also registered nurses.
- Between 2008 and 2012, the number of nurses and midwives employed in nursing or midwifery increased by 7.5% from 269,909 to 290,144.
- Of these people employed in nursing and midwifery, 238,520 were registered nurses (including midwives) and 51,624 were enrolled nurses.
- Overall, the nursing and midwifery workforce increased by 0.5% between 2008 and 2012, from 1,117.8 to 1,123.6 full-time equivalent nurses and midwives per 100,000 population.
- Nursing and midwifery supply across remoteness areas ranged from 1,071.3 full-time equivalent nurses and midwives per 100,000 population in Outer regional areas to 1,302.8 in Very remote areas.
- Nursing and midwifery continued to be a female-dominated profession, with women comprising 89.8% of employed nurses and midwives in 2012 (slightly down from 90.5% in 2008).
- The average age of the nursing and midwifery workforce increased slightly between 2008 and 2012, from 44.1 to 44.6 years.
- The proportion of employed nurses and midwives aged 50 or older increased from 35.1% to 39.1% over this period.
- The average weekly hours worked by employed nurses and midwives remained the same between 2008 and 2012, at 33.4 hours.
- Of all employed clinical nurses and midwives, almost two-thirds (62.6%) worked in hospitals.
- The principal area of nursing and midwifery with the largest number of workers in 2012 was aged care (41,300).
- There were almost twice as many registered nurses working in the public sector compared to the private sector.
- Nurses employed in the public sector worked more hours on average than those in the private sector.