MB Government: Statement from Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen on National Nursing Week – May 11 to 17, 2020

Born on May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale revolutionized the profession of nursing by encouraging the development of standards of practice and formalized education. Now, 200 years after her birth, the World Health Organization has recognized the vital importance of nursing by designating this year the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

As we mark National Nursing Week in Canada from May 11 to 17, I want to thank each and every nurse for the hard work, dedication and sacrifices they are making to care for others. Your jobs are not easy. You work long hours, facing great physical and emotional demands, especially during COVID-19. Your skills and expertise improve the quality of life for your patients, and help keep them well. Your leadership is key to the strength of our health-care system.

A system we have also been working to strengthen following long-overdue changes designed to improve patient care. We have been engaged with health system leadership to stabilize and reinforce the province’s nursing workforce and to implement our campaign pledge to hire a minimum of 200 more nurses.

It is a commitment we have honoured and our historic investments in health-care are producing results. I am pleased to say there were a total of 409 new nurse hires in all provincial health regions since June 1, 2019.

In an effort to protect nurses during COVID-19, we have provided health-care staff paid administrative leave to compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate due to possible exposure to COVID-19 and to help ease workloads; we made it easier for former registered nurses to apply for an expedited temporary registration during the pandemic.

This year, May 14 also marks Indigenous Nurses Day in Canada. I want to thank Indigenous nurses across Manitoba for the invaluable care they provide their patients and the leadership they provide to their communities.

We also remain committed to the midwifery model and expanding the services throughout Manitoba.

To all nurses and, particularly those new to the profession, know that today and every day we celebrate your achievements and your commitment to caring for others.

The contributions nurses make to the health, safety and well-being of all Manitobans, as well as their work on the front lines of this pandemic, are greatly appreciated by myself, our government and people across the province. Thank you.

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.


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