Nursing shortage in Ontario

  1. 0
    There is nursing shortage in north Ontario.
    ďAnd we do have to find ways of enticing nurses to come to the North. And thatís why particularly in some of the rural and more remote areas we need to put some of the things that nurses say they want in their work environment to draw them up there.Ē, Ontarioís chief nursing officer, Debra Bournes, said.

    What do you think?
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Are RPNs able to do this? Because the only info I can find regarding working up north is for RNs. I currently live in Toronto and would love to move To a rural community.
  5. 3
    I think that nursing in Northern Ontario will always have a shortage. The working conditions are such that the job is NOT for new grads - the nurse requires a broad knowledge base, excellent assessment and clinical skills and a high level of autonomy. The patients often have significant chronic health care needs and may not be able to comply with treatment plans for economic or sociocultural reasons. Living conditions are not what most of us are used to and it takes a very special breed to make working in the north in any province their life's calling. "Rural" and "isolated" are not the same thing. Rural could be a small community less than an hour's drive from a large town or city. That does not describe the north. When there is no road access to the community where you live and work for 8 months of the year, fresh groceries are flown in and the options for entertainment are severely limited it doesn't take long for the novelty to wear off. It's not a decision to be taken lightly.
    joanna73, Fiona59, and toronto_nurse like this.
  6. 3
    I am currently in a REMOTE area of northern Ontario working as an RPN...

    They actively recruit for RN's but there is much education needed for employers regarding the role of the RPN and how we could be utilized to help achieve proper staffing levels in the north.. (actually anywhere really)

    Remote and rural are completely different.. I used to live in a small rural town 1 hr from a major city and now live in a remote reserve. I thought for sure i knew what i was getting into... ha ha not soo much.. but I do love my experience even though it can be very stressful emotionally and mentally I have learned and seen lots.. The cons include: You are far away from loved ones, it can be difficult to separate your personal and professional life, some people will look at you as the outsider and there are a lot of sociopolitical issues in the area.

    With this being said, I am grateful for the experience i am getting.. I work with awesome people, the community has been very inviting, the area is beautiful, i have learned more about the culture of this area, and I have learned to appreciate the little things in life...

    We have had new grads come up here.. and it really depends on the person.. I have been here for 5 months and ohhhhh sooo ready for my vacation to fly out in July ... I do not regret coming here at all.. but yea it definitely takes a certain kind of mentality.. and its not for everyone..

    Oh and this sort of nursing really does change your nursing practice...My coworker and i joke about when (and if) we go back south we are not going to look at blood sugars the same anymore.. In the hospital you would aim to have people below 10... here i am just hoping they are under 25 lol Its a totally different world but it can be wonderful too...
    itsmejuli, RiRi03, and Fiona59 like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Trishrpn80
    I am currently in a REMOTE area of northern Ontario working as an RPN...

    They actively recruit for RN's but there is much education needed for employers regarding the role of the RPN and how we could be utilized to help achieve proper staffing levels in the north.. (actually anywhere really)

    Remote and rural are completely different.. I used to live in a small rural town 1 hr from a major city and now live in a remote reserve. I thought for sure i knew what i was getting into... ha ha not soo much.. but I do love my experience even though it can be very stressful emotionally and mentally I have learned and seen lots.. The cons include: You are far away from loved ones, it can be difficult to separate your personal and professional life, some people will look at you as the outsider and there are a lot of sociopolitical issues in the area.

    With this being said, I am grateful for the experience i am getting.. I work with awesome people, the community has been very inviting, the area is beautiful, i have learned more about the culture of this area, and I have learned to appreciate the little things in life...

    We have had new grads come up here.. and it really depends on the person.. I have been here for 5 months and ohhhhh sooo ready for my vacation to fly out in July ... I do not regret coming here at all.. but yea it definitely takes a certain kind of mentality.. and its not for everyone..

    Oh and this sort of nursing really does change your nursing practice...My coworker and i joke about when (and if) we go back south we are not going to look at blood sugars the same anymore.. In the hospital you would aim to have people below 10... here i am just hoping they are under 25 lol Its a totally different world but it can be wonderful too...

    hi there!are there still any openings to which I CAN apply?by the way i am about to take my crne exam by february next year, is it possible that i get to be hired?thanks in advance
  8. 1
    Quote from cvt4canada
    hi there!are there still any openings to which I CAN apply?by the way i am about to take my crne exam by february next year, is it possible that i get to be hired?thanks in advance
    These jobs aren't for newcomers. Do you speak any of the First Nations languages? Do you have any knowledge of their cultures or social issues facing them?

    Have you thought about living in a community where you will be regarded as an "outsider" due to your race?

    Experienced winter for six months and can only travel while there is an ice road?

    Braver than me. I wouldn't go north.
    Pepper The Cat likes this.
  9. 1
    Well said Fiona
    Fiona59 likes this.
  10. 0
    Well, it's true. I know I couldn't work up in the outposts and I believe that it's incredibly naive for a newcomer to Canada to think that they can fit into a community that they have no knowledge or understanding of and no experience in the country's mainstream healthcare system.

    I'm just waiting to be told I'm a naysaying bigot.

    I've worked with nurses who have spent years in the north and admire those women. Some worked up there in the '60s and the stories they tell.

    I work in a hospital that serves the local First Nations communities and those from the north that are sent south for treatment. The differences between "mainstream" Canada and these people are huge. Honestly I admire those people who can live on the land like there forefathers but am horrified at how "modern" living is decimating their health. Let's not even get into the elders who speak no English and my Cree is non-existant and my Inuit language skills, huh?? There isn't always an escort who can act as translator for the patient, so it is very challenging to attempt to educate when basic communication links don't exist. Living conditions that can be best described as third world, limited access to running water, the list of challenges goes on and on. We do our best by our northern patients but we know that many have huge challenges to face when they return home.
    Last edit by Fiona59 on Jul 1, '12
  11. 1
    Ditto for remote areas in Australia and our indigenous communities.
    Last edit by ceridwyn on Jul 1, '12
    Fiona59 likes this.
  12. 1
    Remote first nation/northern nursing isn't for everyone.. I am lucky to be in an area that the health care aides are very helpful with translation and the younger generation now mainly speak english... it is still a challenge though... i am slowly learning some cree but it is still not the same cree if i would go to another reserve.. every area has their own dialect..

    It does take a certain kind of personality to be here...

    Fiona- the govt is getting tougher on funding escorts so you will probably see even less in the coming years.. sad situation...
    Fiona59 likes this.


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