In 2008 the total number of registered and enrolled nurses estimated by the Nursing and Midwifery Labour Force Survey was 312,736, an increase of 10.6% since 2004. The nursing workforce continued to age between 1997 and 2008; the proportion of nurses aged 50 years or over increased from 18.9% to 34.4%. The number of full time equivalent nurses per 100,000 population increased by 15.2% between 2004 and 2008, and the profession continued to be predominantly female, with females comprising 91% of employed nurses in 2008.
Medical labour force 2008
The supply of employed medical practitioners increased between 2004 and 2008, from 283 to 304 full-time equivalent practitioners per 100,000 population. The increase reflected a 20.5% rise in practitioner numbers. The gender balance continued to shift, with women making up 35% of practitioners in 2008 compared to 33% in 2004. The average hours worked by male practitioners declined from 47.1 to 45.4 hours, while hours worked by female practitioners changed marginally from 37.6 to 37.7 hours.