Manitoba Reports Largest One-year Increase in Nurses on Record

Manitoba News Release
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April 15, 2010

Nearly 500 More Nurses Working in Manitoba This Year After Record Number of Doctors Added Last Year: Oswald

According to new data from Manitoba’s nursing colleges, 498 more nurses are practising in Manitoba today compared to this time last year, representing the province’s largest-recorded annual increase, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.”Since our government launched our nursing strategy 10 years ago, we have invested aggressively in education, recruitment and retention of nurses,” said Oswald. “Today we are seeing the results of this strategy with a record-setting increase in the number of nurses working for Manitobans.”

The number of practising Manitoba nurses has climbed every year since 2000, to 16,624 in 2009 from 14,092 in 2000, a net increase of 2,532.

Manitoba continues to invest in nurse training, recruitment and retention initiatives consisting of targeted programs that help attract and keep nurses in northern and rural communities including:

– a relocation assistance program that has benefited 1,286 nurses by providing up to $8,000 to cover the costs of moving to this province, with 421 nurses choosing to work in rural Manitoba;

– a grant program for new nurse graduates who choose to work in rural Manitoba;

– an ongoing recruitment campaign to attract nurses from other provinces and other countries including more than 100 new nurses from the Philippines; and

– nearly doubling the number of training seats for nurses at post-secondary institutions across Manitoba since 1999.

Updated nursing workforce data, including a breakdown of active practising Manitoba nurses, training data, information on recruitment initiatives and an update on total funded, filled and vacant positions, is available at www.manitoba.ca/health/nurses.

“Managing health care during difficult economic times is about choices,” said Oswald. “Our government’s choice at this time is to continue to invest rather than cut front-line services as has been done in the past when times were tough.”

Data from the colleges’ annual reports indicate the province gained 467 registered nurses, 23 licensed practical nurses and 16 nurse practitioners in the past year.

The new numbers represent a net gain of 943 nurses in three years, already surpassing the government’s 2007 commitment of adding 700 nurses over four years, said Oswald.

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