FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Health is recruiting travelling and retired nurses – both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) – to re-enter the workforce on a short-term basis and help cover vacation time during the summer.

“Our nurses work incredibly hard to ensure New Brunswickers get the care they need,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “After two years on the front lines of the pandemic, preceded by years of working short-staffed, these professionals need a break. We are asking our retired and travelling nursing community, who are able to return for a short period over the next few months, to help fill some gaps while we work on longer-term solutions.”

Since April 1, Horizon Health Network has hired 11 retirees who will provide support during the summer months. It has also hired about 180 nursing students from both the practical nurse program and the bachelor of nursing program to work during the summer and continue working casually during their studies. Vitalité Health Network has also hired 200 nursing students.

The provincial government will cover the cost of registration fees for retired nurses to rejoin the workforce, and the regional health authorities will pay for accommodations and travel for those willing to be placed in other parts of the province.

“We recognize the challenges in our health-care system’s workforce, and there are many long-term efforts underway to improve the situation,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “While we are making significant progress, it will take time to fully address these challenges. In the meantime, we need everyone rowing in the same direction to support our active nurses.”

The government’s efforts to address nursing shortages include:

  • Introducing a nursing resource strategy.
  • Facilitating increased enrolment in bachelor of nursing programs.
  • Funding for more seats in LPN-to-RN bridging programs.
  • Creating a navigator unit for internationally educated nurses.
  • Increasing recruitment of internationally educated nurses.

Those who can provide assistance over the summer months are asked to contact the regional health authorities directly: