N.S. Health says there are no great options as it raises spending on travel nurses by millions – CBC

Cost of bringing in temporary nurses jumped by millions of dollars this year

Nov 18, 2022

Despite recruitment efforts, Nova Scotia Health’s spending on travel nurses provided by private companies jumped by millions of dollars this year and its options to find more staff are limited.

Travel nurses, who are sometimes known as “agency” or “locum” staff, are health-care workers who are employed by private companies that provide extra nursing staff where they’re needed.

“It’s a really hard thing to reconcile,” said Anna Marenick, a vice-president at Nova Scotia Health in charge of human resources.

“If the choice is between hiring agencies and at least making sure that we’ve got coverage in some of our units so that we have the most number of resources that we can for patient care, versus not hiring travel nursing companies and running even shorter, neither option is great.”

The predecessor of Nova Scotia Health in Halifax, Capital Health, told CBC News it started using travel nurses in 2015, and said at the time, the cost would be about $300,000 for three months and a dozen nurses.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/travel-nurses-high-cost-nova-scotia-1.6654186

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