FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released a nursing resource strategy focused on recruitment, retention, promotion of the nursing profession, and enhancing nursing education and employment and work-life balance.

“Nurses play a significant role in the provision of high-quality care in an efficient, patient-centric health-care system,” said Health Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “We are going to continue to face a shortage of nurses unless we take action now to ensure we have enough nurses to serve our population.”

The strategy contains 21 action items, including: recruiting internationally educated nurses as part of New Brunswick’s immigration efforts; creating an assessment program for internationally and Canadian-educated nurses in New Brunswick; creating a process to offer permanent employment (full-time and part-time) to New Brunswick graduates and registered nurses recruited from other provinces or countries; and developing promotional packages to attract students to New Brunswick universities and registered nurses to the New Brunswick workforce.

“The government developed this strategy with our partners, as the nursing shortage is complex and will require us all to work together to address it,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We are all taking this issue seriously, and a number of the strategy’s action items are already underway.”

“The Nurses Association of New Brunswick supports any effort to address the nursing shortage and will continue to participate on the nursing resource strategy, as we anticipate immediate action to further implement the plan,” said association president Maureen Wallace.

A steering committee was tasked with developing a 10-year nursing resource strategy to address the province’s nursing shortage. The committee included representatives from the Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses, the Department of Health, the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, the Department of Social Development, the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes, the New Brunswick Nurses’ Union, regional health authorities, the Université de Moncton and the University of New Brunswick.

The strategy is available online.