For Nurses by Nurses

Canada: Nursing profession swells with young recruits while older workers stay on the job

Nursing profession swells with young recruits while older workers stay on the job

By Charlie Fidelman, GAZETTE Health Reporter October 8, 2013

What nursing shortage?

A national portrait by the Canadian Institute for Health Information made public on Tuesday says the actual number of working nurses has grown by seven per cent in the last five years, outpacing growth in the Canadian labour force and population.

The number of nurses employed in Canada reached a total of 365,420 in 2012 — up by seven per cent since 2008. The profession is swelling with young recruits while older nurses are staying on the job, said CIHI spokesperson Andrea Porter-Chapman.

Yet despite the increases, hospitals continue to reduce or delay surgeries because they don’t have enough nurses to staff operating rooms and intensive care units.

Whether a province, region or community has enough nurses on hand is related to the population’s needs, its age, as well as to the distribution of the workforce and services, Porter-Chapman said.

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