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CNA President Says Recruiting Nurses from Other Provinces Will Not Solve Canada’s Staff Shortage Problem

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The Canadian Nurses Association has claimed recruiting new nurses from other provinces will not solve the issues in Ontario and that the focus needs to be shifted to retaining the already employed nurses. This comes after Premier Doug Ford announced last week that the province will start recognizing the credentials of healthcare workers from other provinces.

Sylvain Brousseau, the president of the Canadian Nurses Association, said, “We know that nurses are facing inadequate working conditions, and that is the main reason many are leaving their jobs. If working conditions and retention are not the focus, the new nurses recruited from other provinces may find themselves wanting to leave their jobs.”

Recently, Horizon Health Network held recruiting events in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. With the events, it aims to bring on board 120 nurses to the province offering financial incentives of up to $20,000 as well as a life near the ocean. According to a spokesperson, the health network is also hiring nurses through partnerships with universities in India and in Maine. It is also taking steps to try and retain the workers.

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Similarly, Newfoundland and Labrador have introduced incentives to lure healthcare workers with connections to the province. Quebec is looking to recruit nurses internationally.

The office of Health Minister Christian Dube said in a statement, “All provinces in Canada face the same challenge of a shortage of labor in their healthcare systems. It’s in everyone’s interest to recruit people internationally. Meanwhile, we continue to work so that our network becomes an employer of choice and to improve working conditions.”

Talking about staff shortages, Sylvain Brousseau said, “Thirty years ago on surgery, I had six patients during the day, seven to eight on the evening shift and 12 on night shift, and now it’s 15 during the day in surgery in some places, or 10. This is too much.” She emphasized that recruiting nurses from outside the province will not solve the short-staffing problem. What will solve the problem, according to Brousseau, is giving the nurses better working conditions and a better healthcare environment.

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