140 nurses accept permanent positions, return to NS Health

More than 140 nurses have signed on to return to Nova Scotia’s publicly funded healthcare system.

The government recently offered nurses who left the system $10,000 to come back, and 148 retired, casual and travel nurses have accepted permanent positions. They will work in the publicly funded system for at least two years.

“When we invest in nurses, we are investing in better care for Nova Scotians,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “We have been clear with nurses – we need you, and we want to work with you. We know there is more to do to improve healthcare. Nurses have other great ideas to improve their workplaces, and we will work with them to make changes.”

The returning nurses represent more than 270,000 hours a year of direct care for tens of thousands of patients. And as a direct result of this initiative, 34 hard-to-fill positions – those posted for at least 90 days – are now staffed.

The $10,000 incentive was recently offered to nurses if they agreed to come back to a permanent position in the publicly funded system and signed a two-year return of service agreement by March 31. They began work in April.

The incentive is prorated if the position is less than full time. For example, a nurse who took a 50 per cent position is eligible for half the bonus.

Initiatives to recruit and retain healthcare workers are part of Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare.

“Last year, I left Nova Scotia Health to become a travel nurse. However, I quickly realized I missed being home and working in such a comfortable and supportive environment. It feels great knowing I’m coming back to a place where I’m not just a guest, but part of a team, with the ability to take care of my fellow Nova Scotians during a time of great need.”
     – Carly Gillis, registered nurse, Strait Richmond Hospital

Quick Facts:
— 140 nurses are returning to permanent positions with Nova Scotia Health, two are returning to IWK Health and six are returning to the continuing care sector
— an estimated 55,000 nurses, healthcare workers and other team members will receive a retention bonus of up to $10,000 in the next few weeks
— hundreds of nurses from other countries will arrive to work in Nova Scotia’s health system this year
— the government has offered jobs to all graduating nurses in Nova Scotia and added 200 nursing seats across the province

Additional Resources:
Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health career opportunities: https://jobs.nshealth.ca/

Continuing care career opportunities: https://jobs.crelate.com/portal/healthassociation

Action for Health: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth/

Mandate letter of the Minister of Health and Wellness: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-DHW.pdf

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