Thursday, January 24, 2008

Aging nurses complicates Canada's labor shortage


Ageing is something inevitable. In Canada, the average age of nurses working in the hospitals continues to increase. If the trend continues, chances are, the medical field will obviously face a nursing shortage in the future.


The number of retirees is getting bigger while the new nursing graduates that enter the workforce are getting older than they used to be. This is based on the data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

The CIHI report also indicates that nearly 60,000 nurses have already rendered 30 years of nursing experience. On the other hand, two-thirds of Canada's total nursing population have already over 20 years of experience.

Number of Nurses

Between 2004 and 2005 Canada recorded a total of 345,822 Registered Nurses. (Both employed and unemployed) In the same period, the total number of nurses, working under their respective specialties increased to 2%, making a total of 321,590 RN, LPN and RPN workforce.

Age Matters
The report states that in 2005 the average age of an RN in Canada was 44.7, a big difference from 1994’s average age level of 41. It also indicates that 17% of Canada's total RN in 2005 belongs to 50-54 age range, compared to 11% in 1994.

The difference in age over the years is an indication that in a few years time, the nurses will be leaving the workforce and hence, leaving Canada’s health sector in a state of shortage that needs to be filled in the future.

Nursing Union Cries for Help

The perceived nursing shortage also draws worries from the nursing unions. They are calling the attention of the government to support and address the problem accordingly and swiftly.

There are not enough nurses in Canada and this is only going to get worse unless there is immediate action by governments," Linda Silas, RN, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, said in her statement.

We need to speed the entry and slowdown the exit of nurses in the workforce. Retaining nurses is not 'rocket science'", Silas continued. "We need commitment from governments and employers to work with the unions and to sustain meaningful changes in workplaces, improve retention, recruitment and ultimately, patient care".

Nurturing the Nursing Field

With limited number of manpower resources, including the deteriorating number of nursing graduates, the Canadian government has no choice left but to invite qualified nurses from other countries, particularly Philippines.

Filipinos comprise 27% of Canada’s total nurses. There is a total of 41,000 Filipinos working in Canada’s healthcare and social assistance fields. This is a proof that the Philippines produces skilled workers that show an excellent workmanship in most fields.

Nix Nursing Shortage
With the Philippine’s reputation as one of the best sources of qualified nurses in Canada, it is no wonder that our assistance would be sought again to take care of their sick people.

Canada is not simply inviting all qualified nurses to apply but is also offering a brighter future for those who wish to help augment their nursing shortage. Grab this once in a lifetime chance to earn a better life.

Help cut the nursing shortage in Canada. Contact any of our CIC offices nationwide and join the rush to get an immigrant visa.[Gateway to Canada]