As we have learned from our Recruitment and Selection studies, the Canadian demographic makeup is undergoing a significant transformation. We are facing significant increases in the number of people retiring or exiting the workforce as they continue to age. This aging and exiting workforce is leaving behind high numbers of job vacancies, along with a corresponding decrease in the number of skilled and available workers for those jobs. This pattern is evident and highlighted recently in the province of New Brunswick. Provincially, the health care sector will not be able to meet increasing patient needs due to the predicted lack of availability in skilled and talented nurses.
In order to address this issue, the New Brunswick government has put together a provincial ‘Nursing Resource Strategy’. This is a pro-active recruitment plan designed to meet current and future nursing demands. The strategy has four action items which include the targeted recruitment of internationally trained nurses; reducing barriers to work while waiting for provincial nursing registration; permanent employment offers and potential signing bonuses for new nurses committing to work for three years in the province’s rural areas.
As the focus of this strategy is to increase the numbers of internationally trained nurses, the plan includes targeted recruitment from countries with nursing education programs that provide ‘similar nursing professional standards, competencies, and credentials’. This approach links directly to the need for accurate job analysis so that there is a precise match between the alignment of job availability, professional requirements, and candidate competencies.
Further, this plan is based on an analysis of demographic information that forecasts both the supply and demand of skilled nurses over a nine-year plan. It may seem that a nine-year time frame is focused far into the future but, the current state of this skilled labour shortage is already at a critical stage and cannot wait for any future delays.
New Brunswick’s ‘Nursing Resource Strategy’ is a plan that has been developed for one particular province to meet its health care sector needs. The plan includes demographic analysis, staffing forecasts, job analysis, professional and competency requirements, action items and a time frame for delivery. In summary, the approach provides us with a template for what an effective recruitment strategy looks like. All that remains is effective implementation.
- Identify additional recruitment strategies that could increase the availability of skilled and qualified nurses in New Brunswick.
- What types of services or industries are impacted by the lack of skilled nurses provincially?
- What types of skill shortages are forecast for your province?
- What types of recruitment strategies would you put into place to address these skill shortages?
- As a new graduate, would you be willing to relocate to another province or another country if you were given a guarantee of employment in your field? Explain your rationale.