The scarcity of nurses working in hospitals and long-term care houses throughout New Brunswick is worsening, based on the union that represents them.
Since April, the variety of vacant nursing positions within the province jumped to 854 from 700 throughout the Horizon and Vitalité well being networks and in long-term care houses, stated Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union.
“Sadly, the thermometer is shifting within the flawed course so far as changing these vacancies with registered nurses,” she stated.
Throughout New Brunswick, hospitals in current months have needed to cut back the working hours of the emergency departments, citing a scarcity of nurses and different health-care workers as the explanation.
Doucet stated these vacancies embrace nurses who’re out on short-term and long-term sick depart, some who’re retiring, some who’re taking jobs outdoors the province, and others who’re quitting the career altogether.
“Which is a tragic state of affairs, however the working situations, I imagine, and the scarcity, is pushing nurses out the door at a speedy tempo,” she stated.
Doucet stated the health-care system was already on “life assist” with regard to staffing shortages, however the COVID-19 pandemic made that worse.
“So for the registered nurses which have been displaying up each day quick [of staff], with the added stress, with the entire piece across the lockdown and the outbreaks that our province had confronted in current months, you recognize, that every one performs on psychological well being of health-care suppliers,” she stated.
Doucet stated current reductions in ER hours at hospitals resembling these in Perth-Andover, Sackville and Moncton might simply be the “tip of the iceberg” within the staffing disaster except extra is finished to recruit and retain nurses.
Horizon Well being Community introduced final month that the Sackville hospital’s emergency division wouldn’t function in a single day on weekends for an indefinite time period due to a nurse scarcity. (CBC)
She stated there must be ample seats within the nursing applications at New Brunswick universities, together with good working situations and comparable wages once they graduate, in order that they’ll select to remain and practise within the province.
Doucet stated the province and well being authorities have to be “very aggressive” and assume outdoors the field in relation to recruitment however famous it is going to be tough, contemplating each different province can also be going through a nurse scarcity.
“I do not know if we’ll see the top of this scarcity any time quickly, however I believe we have to be desirous about how will we ship well being care to these inside our province, and do it inside the manners that we’ve the numbers to take action,” she stated.
70 worldwide nurses destined for N.B.
Bruce Macfarlane, spokesperson for the Division of Well being, stated in an e mail tht the federal government is “not standing nonetheless” on addressing the problem of health-care staffing shortages.
He stated particular initiatives embrace incentives for hard-to-fill registered nurse positions and an “worldwide educated nurses” pilot challenge, which at the moment has 70 nurses destined for New Brunswick to take a bridging program to change into registered nurses within the province.
He stated the division can also be in partnerships with the well being authorities to recruit nurses domestically.
Macfarlane stated recruitment figures from June present Horizon Well being Community has employed 106 new registered nursing graduates to date in 2021, and Vitalité Well being Community has recruited 100 new registered nurses who will begin between now and September.
Of the 106 new nurses employed, 91 of them are graduates of the College of New Brunswick and the College of Moncton, stated Geri Geldart, vice-president of scientific companies with Horizon Well being Community, in an e mail assertion.
Community recruiting on three fronts
“Regardless of these efforts, we’re nonetheless experiencing a crucial scarcity of nurses, with roughly 650 nursing vacancies throughout Horizon,” he stated.
Vitalité spokesperson Thomas Lizotte, in an e mail, deferred to a information launch the well being authority issued on June 16 relating to the staffing shortages.
Johanne Roy, appearing vice chairman of human assets for Vitalité, stated in that launch that the well being community is actively pursuing its recruiting methods provincially, nationally and internationally.
“The community is constant its methods for recruiting and assist of a tradition of caring and appreciation that may profit workers retention,” she stated.