I think there are many reasons for the current nursing shortage in our province. Firstly, funding cutbacks associated with regionalization that happened here about 5 years ago, compounded by lack of insight by our governments about funding formulas was the initial insult to our healthcare system. We lost a lot of our young nurses to the USA as well as lost a lot from the profession completely with initial cutbacks. Over the last few years, our working conditions are such that we have lost even more because of job dissatisfaction. The other issue is the numbers of nursing students graduating from schools
and colleges has plummeted. There were decreases in enrollments due to nursing no longer being an attractive profession, as well as numbers reduced due to funding for education being cut. Our nursing programs
are 4 year degree programs, with the diploma programs having been phased out recently.
What are we trying to do to address these issues (and others)? Management and staff are working together to develop recruitment/retention policies. Our hospital is offering attractive bonuses to new staff, and are devising ways to keep those valuable nurses that we have. Continuing education has, of course, been targeted as high priority. The govenment has recently given our region $150,000 to be used for education programs. We are just starting to address these topics. If anyone has any ideas....