Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing

September 09, 2010 13:01 ET

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing: 'Back to School' Should Include Investments in Nursing

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2010) - The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is kicking off the academic year with the release of a report on the status of nursing education in Canada entitled "The Case for Healthier Canadians: Nursing Workforce Education for the 21st Century". This report presents an accurate picture of the impact nursing will have on the Canadian healthcare system.

"Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and studies have shown that nurses actually hold the key to important issues like patient safety," said Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, CASN President. "As we begin a new academic year, we want to support nursing students, nurses and patients, by making recommendations to policymakers that, if followed, will help ensure we have a strong, capable nursing workforce well into the future."

The Report identifies three key recommendations for nursing education investment in Canada:

  • Invest in nursing faculty and nursing program infrastructure – increase access to graduate programs (which increases the number of nurses who can teach), provide financial assistance to nurses in Master's and Doctoral programs, and increase financial support for practice placements
  • Foster innovative initiatives to sustain an appropriately prepared nursing workforce ­– increase access to simulation training, provide distance education models to improve access for Aboriginal students and others, and create a database so researchers can study the trends that influence nursing students
  • Invest in nursing research and knowledge translation – provide nurses with the information they need to ensure they can provide the type of care that will have the best outcomes for patients, evaluate new models of care to ensure patient safety and optimum patient outcomes are the top priority

"CASN recognizes that healthcare systems and health authorities across Canada are struggling to keep their budgets down," said Stamler. "But we also believe that cutting nursing education budgets at this time will only increase healthcare expenses in the future. Targeted investments will ensure that we continue to have a strong, capable and effective nursing workforce."

The report in its entirety can be downloaded at in both French and English. 

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