Patients will benefit from new nursing strategy
Prince Edward Island’s first-ever nursing strategy will help ensure a strong, dedicated workforce to care for Islanders.
The Health PEI Nursing Strategy: 2017-2020 sets direction for nursing within the province’s publically funded health-care system. It was created after consultations with frontline nurses, educational institutions, nursing associations and unions, and other health care providers.
“We are so pleased with the development of this new strategy,” says Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island president Cynthia Bryanton. “The strategic goals are well defined and align with our association’s vision and priorities. As a partner, leader and collaborator in the nursing community, we look forward to working with Health PEI in implementing the nursing strategy and advancing our profession.”
The three-year strategy recommends actions for maintaining and advancing the nursing workforce in four strategic areas: workforce capacity, engagement and leadership, professional practice, and innovation. It will address areas of priority including:
• working collaboratively with health care leaders to seek innovative approaches for optimizing care, such as improving access to care for key population groups;
• increasing the full-time to part-time nursing positions ratio to 60:40 from the current 51:49;
• recruiting more new graduate nurses;
• launching the New Graduate Employment Guarantee Program;
• collaborating with professional associations, unions, and educational institutions to improve nursing retention;
• working with professional associations to identify opportunities to amend legislation and regulations to increase scopes of practice; and
• developing and implementing a front-line nursing leadership course in partnership with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Prince Edward Island.
“Nurses are some of the frontline superstars of our health care system who work tirelessly for their patients while being their biggest advocates,” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said. “I am confident that this strategy will allow us to support and work with these professionals even more effectively, helping them continue to provide Islanders with the highest-quality care when and where they need it.”
The strategy defines “nurse” as regulated nurses – nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN). Approximately 1,900 nurses work in health care settings across the province, including 18NPs, 1,353 RNs, and 528 LPNs.
“Nursing resource management requires careful planning as nurses represent the largest group of health care providers in our province,” says Marion Dowling, registered nurse and chief of Nursing, Allied Health and Patient Experience. “This first-ever nursing strategy will enable and enhance the contribution of nursing, ensuring nurses are delivering the right care, in the right place while also taking into consideration the future direction of the nursing profession.”
Health PEI is currently recruiting to fill 29 permanent and 60 temporary nursing position vacancies. Twelve registered nursing graduates were hired to permanent full-time positions in December, and an additional 33 registered nursing graduates will be offered permanent full-time positions this spring.
The Provincial Nursing Leadership Committee will oversee the nursing strategy during the next three years. The committee will collaborate with nursing leaders, other health care providers, patients, family/caregiver representatives, professional organizations, unions, educational institutions, and members of Health PEI’s Senior Management Group to achieve the priorities and objectives outlined in the strategy.
Senior Communications Officer