The new nursing strategy is helping Nova Scotia attract and keep the nurses it needs now and into the future.
Government invested close to $4.7 million this year to help employers recruit and retain nurses through orientation and support for new graduates, professional development, mentorship, and co-op student work placements.
“Nurses told us that they needed more support at the beginning of their careers as they adjust to the workforce, throughout their careers as they grow professionally, and later in their careers, allowing them to mentor others,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine.
“Government supports nurses. This work will help us as we move to recruit new nurse practitioners and family practice nurses to collaborative health care practices across the province in the coming months.”
Since the strategy was launched in May 2015, the province has funded more than 40 innovative projects, proposed by nurses, to improve workplaces, and recruit and retain nurses.
These projects included an exchange program between rural and urban nurses, and a program that helped nurse leaders working in home care in rural Cape Breton strengthen their teams and improve how care is provided to patients and their families.
The nursing strategy has also supported assessment and bridging programs for new immigrant nurses as they work to earn their RN license in Nova Scotia, and offered targeted funding for co-op placements in hard-to-fill areas like mental health, addictions and long-term care.
Cindy MacQuarrie, interprofessional practice co-ordinator in Nova Scotia Health Authority’s eastern zone, received funding for nurses and paramedics to learn together using mobile simulation equipment in Neil’s Harbour, Baddeck and Cheticamp.
“The innovation grant allowed us to learn with, from and about each other as we explored the heart of our practice, and visualized the future of collaborative health care in our rural and remote communities,” said Ms. MacQuarrie.
The number of licensed practical nurses and nurse practitioners continued to increase in Nova Scotia, and the number of registered nurses remained stable during this period of high retirements.
The majority of new RN and LPN graduates from Nova Scotian nursing schools are still working in the province a year after graduation. More Nova Scotian nurses work full-time compared to the national average.
For more information on the progress made on the nursing strategy to date, visit www.novascotia.ca/dhw/nurses.