The provincial government’s plan to hire internationally trained nurses to address urgent staffing shortages in hospitals does not sit well with Manitoba’s Registered Nursing College and Union, which says these nurses are not on the job. It can take years to bring.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon said on Wednesday that more than 90 internationally educated nurses are going through the process of obtaining licenses that can start working in a matter of days, and that about 1,360 internationally educated nurses have worked in Manitoba. To fulfill the basic eligibility criteria. ,
“And as we know, ICU beds are the most staff intensive beds in our health system, so if we’re able to get these nurses into the system, we open up more beds,” she said in a press conference. How will she increase the capacity of Manitoba’s intensive care unit once she leaves?
But the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba says it has no idea where Gordon got these figures.
College spokesman Martin Lussier said that to his knowledge, there are only seven applicants who meet provincial requirements, and 48 applicants are currently in various stages of registration.
In response, a spokesman for the province said the figure of 1,360 is based on the number of inquiries received through its online intake portal.
Lussier says that the college has repeatedly asked for meetings with Gordon and/or Premier Heather Stephenson to discuss the registration process for internationally trained nurses, but it has not been allowed to meet with either of them. Opportunity not found.
“In that vein, we have no information about the characteristics or criteria that provinces are using to determine ‘eligibility,'” beyond questions in the online form, Lucier said in an email.
“This form does not ask for further information necessary to determine the eligibility of an internationally educated nurse for RN registration in Manitoba (or any other Canadian jurisdiction).”
Lussier said that figure also includes potential candidates for licensed practical nursing.
Not a short term solution, says union
Meanwhile, the executive director of the College of Manitoba’s Licensed Practical Nurses said they are committed to supporting applicants through the process.
“We recognize the need to find new, innovative solutions to expand Manitoba’s health care workforce at this critical time, and we partner with government, shared health and other stakeholders to identify ways to fast-track Committed to continuing the work. Registration without compromising on security,” said Jennifer Bretton.
In any case, the president of the Manitoba Nurses Union says the province should not use it as a solution to the current pressure on the health care system, as it would take years to get these nurses to work.
“It’s not a short-term solution, it’s a long-term solution. We don’t get those nurses into the system in two weeks,” she said.
“I mean I’m talking to nurses who have been successful who come here as IENs (Internationally Educated Nurses) and have been successful, and I’m looking forward to those nurses coming into our system and getting registered and doing that. I’m talking about two to three years to work. As a nurse in bed.”
Jackson says the province should have started operating earlier this year, and right now, the focus should be on retaining nurses.
As of October 2021, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority was short of 1,331 nurses, a vacancy rate of 17.3 percent.