NOTE: A statement by Premier Tim Houston, read in the House of Assembly today, October 28, follows the release
Premier Tim Houston announced today, October 28, all nurses graduating from Nova Scotia’s universities and Nova Scotia Community College for the next five years will be offered a job in the province.
Every nurse who wants a job in Nova Scotia from the current graduating class until 2026 will be guaranteed one with Nova Scotia Health, the IWK or the continuing care sector. They will receive information about available opportunities and receive job offers.
“We are taking bold action to solve the healthcare problems in Nova Scotia,” said Premier Houston. “Every nursing graduate coming out of a Nova Scotia school over the next five years has a standing offer to work right here. I want nursing students to know we are not taking them for granted, and I hope this shows how much we value them and their skill, energy and compassion.”
Each year, Nova Scotia graduates about 700 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
The initiative will be overseen by the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment.
Nurses are needed in so many areas across Nova Scotia – it’s part of why I want to become a nurse. A guaranteed job offer to work in Nova Scotia when I graduate takes some of the pressure off as I complete my studies. This is the kind of forward thinking we need to keep new nursing grads here in the province.
Anika Daclan, Co-president, Dalhousie University Nursing Society and Nursing Student
I’ve been a registered nurse for 30 years, and I remember being a student about to graduate – there are a lot of factors to consider when determining where to work. As the next generation of nursing students considers their options, we want them to know there are many great job opportunities for them in various areas and locations, right here in Nova Scotia. There is a place for them in our healthcare system.
Michelle Thompson, Health and Wellness Minister
- nurses are educated at Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University, Cape Breton University, Université Sainte-Anne and the Nova Scotia Community College
- about 450 registered nurses and about 250 licensed practical nurses graduate every year from Nova Scotia schools
- Minister Thompson’s mandate letter includes a commitment to enhance recruitment of health professionals
- the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment is focused on recruiting and retaining doctors, nurses, continuing care assistants, paramedics and other professionals
Information on Dalhousie University School of Nursing: https://www.dal.ca/faculty/health/nursing.html
Information on St. Francis Xavier University School of Nursing: https://www.stfx.ca/academics/science/nursing
Information on Cape Breton University School of Nursing: https://www.cbu.ca/academics/schools/school-of-nursing/
Information on Nova Scotia Community College nursing program: https://www.nscc.ca/learning_programs/programs/plandescr.aspx?prg=PNUR&pln=PRACNURDIP
Information on Université Sainte-Anne practical nursing program: https://www.etudescollegiales.ca/en/licensed-practical-nurse-lpn
Minister Thompson’s Mandate Letter: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-DHW.pdf
Statement by Premier Tim Houston:
Mr. Speaker, it’s no secret that Nova Scotia needs nurses.
There are currently hundreds of vacancies for nurses in the system. And our plan to transform our health system means that we will need many more than that.
We are fortunate to have excellent universities and colleges in our province that graduate about 700 nurses every year - registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
But, there has been criticism that the government and Nova Scotia Health haven’t done all they could to let those eager, talented graduates know they are needed, and wanted, right here at home.
Well Mr. Speaker, that ends today.
This Government is taking bold action today to keep our best and brightest nursing grads here. We want them to have career stability and opportunities for advancement, right here at home.
I’m announcing today that every nursing grad coming out of a school in this province, over the next five years, has a standing offer to work in Nova Scotia.
If they want to work in our health system when they finish their studies, there is a place for them.
I’m sure every member of this House was disappointed to hear the news last week that recruiters from British Columbia were meeting with our graduating nurses and offering bonuses, while some students felt they didn’t get the same treatment from local recruiters.
This government will usher in a new era of respect between healthcare workers and government.
It started with the Speak Up for Healthcare tour. I was honoured to meet face to face with so many health professionals and listen to their solutions for a better system.
Because of them, there will be change for the better in our system.
With this announcement today, I am signaling to nursing students that Nova Scotia needs - and wants - their skill, their energy and their compassion.
That’s not lip service. Starting today, those nurses will know that if they graduate, they have a job with Nova Scotia Health, the IWK or the continuing care sector.
I met with nursing students across the province earlier this week. I heard them. They have anxiety about the future.
I want to be perfectly clear, we will do whatever we can to make it possible for these students to work in their chosen field, in their chosen region.
Under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Orrell, first year nurses will receive job offers. And they will be given information about all the opportunities and programs that are available here.
Nursing students will know that they are not taken for granted, Mr. Speaker.
They will understand that they are respected and valued in Nova Scotia and they don’t have to go to BC, Ontario or the States to find work.
Talented, young nurses will walk out of school and be able to start their careers right away. Right here in Nova Scotia.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.