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Canada:Nursing shortage could Hit Manitoba Soon,Union Warns - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Canada:Nursing shortage could Hit Manitoba Soon,Union Warns by Idowu Olabode : June 02, 2017, 06:56:20 AM
Manitoba could face a nursing shortage before long, the president of the Manitoba Nurses Union warned Thursday.

Sandi Mowat said a report released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information is cause for concern and that the province is well overdue for health human resource planning

According to the data, the number of nurses with active licences in Canada grew just 1.3 per cent in 2016, the second slowest year since CIHI began tracking in 2002. In Manitoba, that growth was even slower at just 0.8 per cent. In the last decade, the number of regulated nurses in the province has grown by nearly 14 per cent compared to a national increase of about 18 per cent.

"I’m very concerned that the actual labour market is not going to keep pace with what’s required for nurses in the future," Mowat said. More than a quarter of the province’s nurses are more than 55 years old, she said, meaning impending retirements coupled with slow growth could leave a gap.

However, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba doesn't appear to share Mowat’s concerns, focusing instead on what its executive director sees as the report’s positives.

"What’s really encouraging about this data is that the inflow is bigger than the outflow," Katherine Stansfield said, "We still continue to attract more nurses to Manitoba."

Last year, more than 1,000 nurses registered in Manitoba, while just 916 let their provincial registration lapse. While the growth has slowed, Stansfield said she thinks it's significant that the number of Manitoba nurses under the age of 35 is almost the same as the number older than 55.

"We think that’s a strong sign of the sustainability of the profession," she said. "When we look at our Manitoba data we really do see kind of a stable picture."

There are several factors that impact growth, according to Andrea Porter, a health workforce information manager with CIHI. Chief among them is how many people are graduating with nursing degrees and how many of those graduates will write the exam to obtain a licence.

It’s important to track the nursing force, Porter said, because regulated nurses make up half of the country's health-care workforce, and that has a huge impact on how Canadians are able to access health services. And while the number of nurses is growing faster than the general population, it is not growing as fast as the rest of the health-care workforce.

So, Porter said, "we are seeing this slowdown."

By Mowat’s recollection, it has been more than a decade since a health human resource meeting took place in Manitoba and the province attempted to figure out its short- and long-term nurse staffing needs.

It’s time for another, she said. After all, the Canadian Nurses Association estimates the country will be short 60,000 nurses by 2022.

Already in Manitoba, Mowat said, "We do have a little bit of a nursing shortage."

Source:http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/nursing-shortage-could-be-on-manitobas-horizon-union-warns-425794043.html

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