A glimpse of the future nursing workforce: The graduate e-cohort study

Annette Huntington, Susan Kellett, Jean Gilmour, Catherine Turner, Stephen Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This paper outlines the demographic profile, workforce trajectory and study intentions of the first cohort of newly graduated and registered nurses participating in the Graduate e-cohort Study. 

Design: A longitudinal, electronic cohort of newly graduated and registered nurses was recruited into the first survey and completed the questionnaire by logging on to the e-cohort web platform www.e-cohort.net 

Subjects: Newly graduated and registered nurses completing in 2008 from the University of Queensland, Australia; and Massey University, the University of Auckland and AUT University from New Zealand. 

Main outcome measure: The establishment and report on a cohort of newly graduated and registered nurses in Australia and New Zealand. 

Results: All NZ and most Australian participants were employed as nurses. Over half the NZ participants were undertaking a postgraduate qualification compared to 5.9% of the Australian participants. The majority intended to undertake further postgraduate study. All Australian participants working as nurses were currently employed in Australia, 13% of NZ participants were working in Australia. Most participants worked in metropolitan areas (85%) in acute care hospitals (81.1%) in their preferred clinical speciality area (79.4%). Surgical was the most prevalent speciality area (17.8%). 

Conclusions: The majority of participants are young, highly mobile, have completed a graduate transition to practice and work in metropolitan areas. Retention of this workforce is essential to meet health care demands and replace the large cohort of older nurses retiring over the next decade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


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