McGuinty Government Supporting Ontario's Nurses
3,002 Full-Time Nursing Positions Created So Far, Helping 1,700 Experienced Nurses Stay On
WINDSOR -- The McGuinty government is supporting Ontario's nurses by investing in programs that will help keep 1,700 experienced nurses on the job longer, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Our government recognizes that retaining our most experienced nurses and hiring more full-time nurses is crucial to having a strong, stable nursing workforce in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "We've made real progress toward achieving our goal of having 70 per cent of nurses working fulltime -- about 59 per cent are in full-time positions already, and in hospitals that number is approaching 70 per cent."
The government's $28-million investment includes $25 million to support late-career nurses working in hospitals and more than $3 million for nurses employed in long-term care homes. Since last year, the government has invested nearly $6 million to support Ontario's most experienced nurses.
"Since coming to office, 3,002 full-time nursing positions have been created in hospitals and long-term care homes -- and now, we're offering our most experienced nurses incentives to keep working so that younger nurses, patients and our health care system benefit from their knowledge and experience," said the Premier.
Ontario's nurses over the age of 55 will have the opportunity to stay on in their profession in less physically demanding roles, such as working as mentors, patient and family educators or staff advisors on clinical issues.
Late-career nursing programs are part of the government's nursing strategy, which supports nurses in all stages of their careers. The strategy aims to stabilize the nursing workforce by achieving a goal of having 70 per cent of nurses working fulltime.
"We brought in these programs because our most experienced nurses told us they wanted to spend part of their workday using their skills in other, important ways while still being active, most of the time, caring for patients and residents," said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman.
"We've received a very positive response from both employers and nurses who say participating in these programs has been an enriching and productive experience."
The nursing strategy is part of the government's plan to build a health care system that delivers on three priorities -- providing better access to doctors and nurses, keeping Ontarians healthy and reducing wait times.
"The quality of patient care increases when there are more nurses working fulltime," said Premier McGuinty. "By having more nurses working fulltime, we're building a better health care system for Ontarians -- and a quality of life that is truly second to none."