Four fifths of Australian aged care operators find it difficult or very difficult to fill positions for enrolled nurses, according to the recently released BankWest and Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) Annual Aged Care Index.

ACAA CEO, Rod Young, said not many nurses are seeking a career in aged care and the shortage could lead to a “critical care crisis in the industry”.

“It is the enrolled nurses who are actually able to provide the care for the residents and they form an absolutely critical part of this industry,” he said.

The results from the index indicate that most people working in aged care have chosen to work there.

According to the National Director of BankWest’s Retirement Living and Aged Care sector, Nick Carter, aged care operators are going to need to re-think the ways they attract new staff and remunerate existing employees.

Mr Carter added that simple solutions such as higher wages are not necessarily going to make a difference.

Work place conditions, career opportunities, flexibility and pay need to be considered as well.

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