Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report

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Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report

Assessment 1: Workforce Planning Individual Report (40%)

Length: 1500 words

Use Report Format. (NOTE: Executive Summary, References and Appendices are not included in the word count and excess words will not be marked.)

Students should note that presentation in this first assignment e.g. grammar, spelling, punctuation, use of report format, academic writing style and referencing are worth 15/40 marks. You will also notice that the rest of the marks for content in this assignment require that students engage in critical analysis, without which a mark of credit or higher cannot be awarded as per UWS.

Assessment Policy: This means that students must learn to weigh up strengths and weaknesses in academic argument, identifying shortcomings, limitations and what works well, and questioning of how things are done now. This can be achieved by reading widely and finding current literature from refereed journal articles, especially recent international literature. Here “current” means published in the last five years or from 2013 onwards, unless the source is considered a seminal source and therefore worthy of inclusion. Use of ten recent readings is minimal. The quality of recommendations to improve upon current practice also identifies students’ ability to critically analyse current literature and practice. Recommendations should be original and emerge from the readings cited in the assignment.



The assignment is designed to focus students on researching the nursing workforce in the Australian health care system and whether the workforce is in balance in terms of supply and demand.


Health Workforce Australia (2014) produced a report Nursing Workforce Sustainability: Improving Nurse Retention and Productivity (called the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report). The key findings from the report were:

In common with other developed health systems, Australia faces a major challenge in sustaining a health workforce that will meet the rapidly rising demand for health care. Demand is being driven by an ageing population living longer with more complex problems, combined with rising costs of technology and treatment and increasing consumer expectations (p.1).

Health Workforce Australia prepared two subsequent reports relating to modelling future nursing Requirements (1), (2) and in the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (2014) identified that:

The reports confirm that population health trends, combined with an aging nursing workforce and poor retention rates, will lead to an imminent nursing shortage. Co-ordinated action is needed if the projected gap between the supply of nurses and the demand for nursing services is to be reduced (p.1).

Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (2014)

Please click on this link to download the report. You can find tables 1a, 1b and 1c here.$File/Nursing%20Workforce%20Sustainability%20-%20Improving%20Nurse%20Retention%20and%20Productivity%20report.pdf

The assignment, to be presented in report format, should address each of the following questions:

  1. Prepare an updated workforce profile on the nursing workforce in Australia, by updating the tables 1a, 1b, 1c (p. 8-9) in the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (HWA, 2015) to report 2009, 2012, and 2015 data. 2015 data is to be sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) website (3).
  2. What are the findings from adding more recent material? Has the supply improved? Have the characteristics of the workforce changed
  3. Undertake an Environmental Scan of the Australian nursing workforce by reviewing relevant literature including reports and articles to determine the current and future status of the total nursing workforce in terms of under or oversupply or balance. Are there differences between different service sectors (e.g. acute care, aged care, critical care and emergency)?
  4. What is the geographic distribution of the nursing workforce and has this improved?
  5. Analyse the major recommendations in the Nursing Workforce Sustainability Report (2014) and determine if these recommendations are still relevant in 2018.



Health Workforce Australia (HWA) (2012). HW2025 Doctors, Nurses and Midwives (called HW2025). Retrieved from: %20and%20Midwifery%20Accreditation%20Council%20(ANMAC).pdf

Health Workforce Australia (2014). Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Nurses Overview Report.

Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from:$File/AFHW%20-%20Nurses%20overview%20report.pdf

AIHW (2016). Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015. Retrieved from:


Provide your answers based on the unit materials, recommended readings in Modules 1 and 2, and any other academic publications. See the hints.doc on vUWS for report writing. There are a range of resources which can be accessed for the information to be submitted in order to answer question 1. These include:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) annual nursing labour force and workforce

reports by category 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015.

National Health Workforce Data Set


Australian Government Department of Health Website. Material on Health Workforce Policies

and Programs.

Australian Government Department of Health Website. Recent reports on workforce planning

and modelling by category.Retrieved from:


You will be assessed on the following:

  • Academic writing skills, use of report format and APA.
  • Ability to introduce the topic and findings in a well summarized Executive Summary.
  • Identification, extraction and analysis of health workforce data.
  • Use of charts and or tables to support analysis and comparison of key data.
  • Critical analysis and synthesis of the relevant literature and data to support your findings.


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