Thursday, February 23, 2006


Nursing Shortage in Saskatchewan (this is news???)

Today, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) released a statement to the media and Health Minister Len Taylor regarding a need to integrate 600 new registered nurses into Saskatchewan healthcare in the upcoming budget.
The memo lists the following concerns:

SUN is urging the government to commit and make some solid benchmarks in order to ensure the maintenance of safe patient care in Saskatchewan.

Though there has been mounting rhetoric about the pending ‘nursing shortage’, the focus on this human resources crisis has subsided lately with the preoccupation shifting to wait times. The release of this statement seems to signal that there need not be any waiting for the nursing shortage, it is upon us.

Saskatchewan needs to set some realistic goals pertaining to sustainable retention and recruitment. Debt reduction has been one attraction for nurses to stay in the province, but it seems that the province needs to get serious about competing for the nurses who so often flee to the United States and larger city centers. It may seem unpatriotic or even unprincipled that these new grads are leaving this country , but the United States offer nurses what they are worth- signing bonuses, moving expenses, assistance finding work for spouses. What’s more, is that nurses in the States seem to be less likely to face the problems of overwork that nurses in Saskatchewan will feel almost immediately after beginning work.

The profession of nursing has been working on overhauling their image to include a more professional persona and I think a commitment from the government may begin to highlight the importance of the nursing profession. This recognition would not only engage those within the profession as valuable members of the healthcare team, but show the citizens of Saskatchewan that their health is a priority.


Cross-posted at feminurse

I think supply and demand economics will only work in a free enterprise business oriented environment. Here we have an artificial environment controlled by our government and unions. If a business were to pay wages to compete with other jurisdictions, they would have to pass that on to the consumer. You can look at most any professional career is Saskatchewan and the same battle cry is heard. Pay us what we are worth or we will leave. Unfortunately the latter is usually the choice. Only when we get rid of government intervention and create a business free enterprise climate will supply and demand economics work. I patiently await that day.
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