Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)

May 11, 2009 15:32 ET

CFNU: National Nurses Union Urges Action on Nursing Shortage

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2009) - A new report on the nursing shortage once again shows that immediate action is needed to fix healthcare workplaces, says the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. The demand for action from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions results from new research findings on the shortage, published today by the professional association of nurses, the Canadian Nurses Association.

"The Canadian Nurses Association is to be congratulated for updating the research on the nursing shortage and, more importantly, for their plan of action to stabilize the nursing labour market," says Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.

The new report by the Canadian Nurses Association, Tested Solutions for Eliminating Canada's Registered Nurse Shortage, shows that:

- Unless immediate action to correct demand for or supply of nurses is taken, Canada will be short 60,000 full-time equivalents by 2022.

- If six policy scenarios were undertaken collectively and immediately, the nursing shortage could be eliminated in 15 years while halving existing levels of in-migration and recruitment from other countries which are also short-staffed.

"Nurses' unions across Canada are looking to work with government, employers and the nursing professional associations to improve the health and well-being of nurses in order to retain them longer in the workforce," said Silas. "Nurses are retiring earlier, burning out earlier or getting injured on the job more than other workers".

The CNA research shows that by reducing absenteeism, which currently averages 14 days per year per nurse, by half over three years this would result in the equivalent of adding 7,000 new nurses. To do this, initiatives must be put in place immediately to address high role overload, such as minimum nurse-patient ratios, acquiring technologies and equipment that help reduce injuries, and addressing workplace morale though enhanced decision-making and continuing education opportunities.

138,000 nurses are members of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and 20,000 nursing students are associate members.

To read the report, go to

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    Pamela Foster