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Keeping Experienced Nurses In The Workforce

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Keeping Experienced Nurses In The Workforce

Office of the Premier

The McGuinty government is investing $28 million this year in programs that will encourage Ontario's most experienced nurses to remain in the profession.

This includes $25 million to support late-career nurses working in hospitals and more than $3 million for nurses employed in long-term care homes.

This is the second year the government has offered programs for Ontario's most experienced nurses. Last year, the government invested nearly $6 million in late-career nurse initiatives, which received a positive response from employers and nurses who participated.

The new roles created through these programs allowed experienced nurses the opportunity to share their knowledge with other staff, patients and residents for the benefit of the entire health care system.

At the same time, hospitals and long-term care homes are able to retain nurses who might otherwise consider early retirement because of the physically demanding nature of their jobs.

Under these initiatives, hospitals and long-term care homes can apply for funding by developing programs where nurses over the age of 55 can spend 20 per cent of their work time in less demanding roles.

These roles take advantage of nurses' knowledge, skills and experience, and could include working as mentors, patient educators or as staff advisors on clinical issues.

Currently, the nursing workforce is aging and the projected number of retirements could exceed the number of new graduates entering the profession over the next few years.

Retaining late-career nurses is an important part of the government's nursing strategy, which aims to stabilize Ontario's nursing workforce.

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