New Brunswick Needs Immigrant Registered Nurses (RNs) to address Growing Labour Shortage

New nursing strategy calls for active recruitment of internationally trained nurses

The maritime province of New Brunswick will require internationally trained nurses to deal with a looming shortage in province’s health-care system, a new government report says.

The recruitment of Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) is one of four key remedies recommended by the province’s Nursing Resource Strategy in order to meet the growing demand for health services and long-term care among residents of New Brunswick.

The report notes that the province’s population is ageing faster than any other jurisdiction in Canada, prompting a “critical demographic situation.”

“New Brunswick has one of Canada’s oldest populations and is ageing at a greater rate than other jurisdictions,” the document notes. “New Brunswick has the highest percentage of population over 65 years of age when compared to the rest of Canada.”

Along with declining enrolment in the province’s bachelor of nursing programs and an attrition rate of 30 per cent for nursing students, the New Brunswick’s ministry of health estimates a shortage of a minimum of 130 registered nurses (RNs) each year over the next decade. “This means that by 2028 there could be a deficit of around 1,300 RNs in the New Brunswick health-care system,” it notes.

During this same period, it is projected that around 4,376 RN jobs will open.

Internationally educated immigrant nurses to the rescue

Among the four action items identified is the active recruitment of Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) from other countries especially those which are identified as having “nursing education programs with similar nursing professional standards, competencies, and credentials” to New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick government also calls for an examination “to identify any barriers, areas for improvement or efficiencies” for Internationally Educated Nurses and to improve the application process.

The Nursing Resource Strategy also suggests the establishment of a program that would help Internationally Educated Nurses find work in the province’s health-care sector while their applications for registration are in progress as it will allow for a positive integration into the workforce.

Among the strategy’s other remedies is initiating a process for offering permanent employment to New Brunswick graduates and Registered Nurses (RNs) recruited from other provinces or countries along with the possibility of a signing bonus in exchange for a three-year commitment to serve in rural areas of the province.

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