CANADA - BREAKING NEWS from the GLOBE AND MAIL

  1. BREAKING NEWS from globeandmail.com, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

    Nurses getting harder to find

    By DARREN YOURK
    Globe and Mail Update



    Registered nurses in Canada are a shrinking and aging work force, a new report released Tuesday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says.

    According to the report, there was a modest increase of 1.2 per cent in the number of registered nurses in Canada over the past five years, but that did not keep pace with population growth.

    As a result, there are fewer nurses per capita, with 74.3 employed in nursing for every 10,000 Canadians in 2001 compared with 76.0 in 1997.

    "While these ratios provide a good foundation for comparison, they don't tell the whole story," said Francine Anne Roy, nursing consultant at CIHI. "Factors such as population health needs, accessibility to medical services, the distribution and mix of health professionals, and different models of health-care delivery will all affect how many registered nurses are required in a community."

    The report says the nursing work force is also getting older. In 2001, for the first time, the average age of every provincial or territorial nurse work force was 40 or older, with a national average of 43.7 years.

    The eldest work forces in 2001 were British Columbia (44.8 years), Ontario (44.3 years), Prince Edward Island (44.1 years) and Saskatchewan (44.1 years). On average, the youngest work force was in Newfoundland and Labrador, at 40.1 years.

    "Today's report highlights the continued imbalance between the numbers of nurses over 40 compared to new graduates," said Linda O'Brien-Pallas, a CIHI adviser. "As many nurses in this country leave nursing before the age of 65 due to the physical demands of the job and concerns about high workload, work environments need to be structured to retain all nurses and to attract new nurses."

    The report shows that full-time employment rates for nurses are at their highest levels in more than five years.

    In 2001, 53.2 per cent of registered nurses were employed full-time in nursing in Canada, compared with 51.9 per cent in 2000 and 49.8 per cent in 1997. More than half of new nursing graduates were employed on a casual basis in 1997, but by 2001 this proportion had declined to one-quarter of new graduates.

    Registered nurses with casual employment do not have a fixed number of hours per pay period.

    Registered nurses represent the largest group of regulated health professionals in Canada. In 2001, there were 231,512 registered nurses in Canada.


    *******************
    This was forwarded to me: And I was wondering what you'll thought about it...

    I have tons of questions around the article myself.

    Why are the universitys uping the marks for students???

    Why did the Gov. suddenly change the nursing program to only BScN and the RPN/LPN to a two year course???

    Are we strangling ourselves with our desire to advance health care????

    And making it impossible for an average person to go to university for the BScN - even though they are completly quilified to do the previous courses in nurseing....

    Ur thoughts and opinions are appreciated...
    •  
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Sandstormsdust, my question is what took Canada so long to notice the trend? Here in the US, it was noted several years ago (2 or 3?) about the aging nursing population-- and we are older that that down here! I think that the average age of Minnesota nurses is now 47; the average age of US nurses is about 45 or 46.

    As far as the ruling about the BScN, I think it will have to come to that one way or another before RNs will get the respect as a profession. The only state her in the US that has the ruling for BSN only RNs is North Dakota, and they are the state with the highest number of nurses per capita! And I haven't seen much (if anything) in the media about them having a nursing shortage, either!
  4. by   sandstormsdust
    That is what I am wondering also....
    I'm not sure why or for what - but it has been very present.... esp.. in medical circles... looking at internet sites, going around the colleges and universitys, med mags, books, etc....

    I think the Registered Nursing Assoc. in Canade just put to much pressure on the media... and the media had to do something ANYTHING... to get them off there backs...

    But then again the whole thing leaves me confused because the colleges and universitys' are turning people away all the time... and the waiting lists are getting longer and longer

    That's why I'm posting it - to get the opinions of the people on the inside... the nurses opinions... on what they think about the trend.
  5. by   adrienurse
    I don't believe it. A nursing shortage in Canada!?? I never would have noticed.
  6. by   fergus51
    This has been in the news before, at least in BC. We have been losing nurses to Alberta and the US for years. I am soon to be one of them.

    As for the BSN thing, it it only one extra year, so I don't have a problem with it. If you can do three years, you can do four. There are a lot of student loan programs out there, and as a nursing student, you are practically automatically approved. I think in the end it will help because we are really the only health care professionals (other than LPNs I guess) who don't have a degree. The LPN program here hasn't changed to a 2 year, but they are not widely used in a lot of places anyways. We only use LPNs on general med-surg and geriatrics in my hospital.
  7. by   LasVegasRN
    Hmmm, I've been seriously considering moving to Canada as I think the US is going to become an extremely dangerous place to live in over the next year....
  8. by   fergus51
    Just don't expect great salaries, or the kind of weather you have in Vegas! It probably is safer. We are far to insignifigant to be a huge priority for terrorists.... I don't know why, but that kind of makes me sad in a way...
  9. by   hapeewendy
    to whomever made this shocking and stark revelation I would like to say
    THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!!!!!!!!!!
  10. by   canoehead
    To go back to Canada at the same pay I have now they would have to give me at least $30/h. That takes in to account the lower cost of living where I am now. But despite that I have seriously thought about moving back home. And the current conflict does have a lot to do with it. My entire family is in Canada too so I am homesick, even after 5 years.

    But I was treated like crap when I was there, and after visiting my old unit, they are still being treated badly at low pay, with constant rumblings of more cutbacks. If the PTB do not want to do some penance for driving good nurses away, then I say let them feel the pinch. I can name 5 excellent nurses that would have happily stayed, but weren't willing to be treated like dirt.
  11. by   prn nurse
    Fergus, do you think the terrorists are targeting the U.S. because of its' significance ? in What ?? Lots of countries outrank us in various ranking charts, year after year. What is Canada NOT DOING that the U.S. IS DOING that attracts Arab hatred and terrorists? Maybe we could learn something from our northern neighbor.
  12. by   canoehead
    Hmmm, fergus...go ahead.

    Perhaps switching loyalties according to where the oil was coming from built up bad feelings. Or maybe sending arms to countries involved in war amongst themselves might have ticked someone off.

    Or the cultural conflicts, and perception that the US culture would take over everyone's value system if a strong resistance wasn't started.

    Of course I am not implying that any loss of life was deserved, or even forgiveable. But smaller weaker countries and their people want to protect their own value system and their own culture- however different that culture might be from what we think is OK. They need to make their own decisions and fight their own battles, and evolve to whatever they choose for themselves.

    I think Canada has a more "hands off" policy when it comes to foreign countries. Definitely fewer military missions seem to make us less of a target.
  13. by   sandstormsdust
    US sends soldier into the hot zones - to 'clean up the mess' or 'work them out'

    Canada sends soldiers to keep the peace and offer morel support.

    US sends money to by arms...
    Canada sends money to support birth control and buy food.

    JMHO
  14. by   fergus51
    prn nurse, canoe, and sanstorm,
    Oh, God, please not a Canada vs US thing! When I said Canada was too insignifigant, I didn't mean we were somehow good and the US isn't. I mean, come on, do any of you actually think AL Qaeda likes Canada? PUHLEEZE. They probably hate our lack of morality as defined by the Taliban, because like it or not, we are VERY similar to the US. We are a part of the American Empire.

    Terrorists' hatred has a lot more to do with their crazy ideas about Islam than about foreign policy IMHO, and anyways, Canada has troops in Afghanistan too, just like we did in the gulf war, and just like we will have in any war the Americans declare. I am sure I don't have to remind any Canadians about some of our soldiers bad acts, especially in Somalia (I don't think our peacekeepers were well respected for a period of time after a group of them tortured a Somalian and videotaped parts of it). Like it or not, we are not always the white knights who save the day. I love Canada, but I am not blind to the fact that we aren't any closer to perfection than the Americans (except in the realm of universal healthcare).

    What I meant was you wouldn't get the kind of press or be able to create the kind of damage in any Canadian city that would come close to what would happen after a terrorist attack in NY or LA. That's why we are pretty insignifigant as far as terrorist targets go. Do you think blowing up the CN tower or the TSE would have had the repercussions that the WTC attacks did? Something tells me most of the world would go "What... Canada has electricity to run a stock exchange now?!".
    Last edit by fergus51 on Jun 21, '02

close