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P.E.I. nurses need to know plan with bringing reinforcements in for summer vacations

For the next three months, our team of dedicated journalists will focus on more stories that shine a spotlight on the most pressing health-care issues while also equipping you with the knowledge to make better choices for your own health and the well-being of your community. We’re calling this initiative “The Pulse.” - SaltWire
For the subsequent three months, our group of devoted journalists will concentrate on extra tales that shine a highlight on essentially the most urgent health-care points whereas additionally equipping you with the information to make higher decisions on your personal well being and the well-being of your group. We’re calling this initiative “The Pulse.” – SaltWire

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Nurses in P.E.I. wish to know by the center of the month how Well being P.E.I. plans to cope with one other difficult summer time trip season.  

To make sure that folks get the day without work they deserve, the province is trying to usher in journey nurses and freelance registered nurses who work for impartial staffing businesses throughout Canada, because it has earlier than.  

“We simply wish to be included within the plan that they’ve,” Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union, informed SaltWire in an interview on Could 1.  

Brookins stated she desires to know as quickly as attainable what Well being P.E.I.’s plan is so full- and part-time nurses on the Island could make their trip plans earlier than the final minute.  

She additionally stated some native nurses need first crack at these trip hours.  

“We wish to ensure that our members are being supplied the chance in the event that they wish to choose up extra shifts. A few of our part-timers will choose up additional shifts at different occasions of the 12 months, however while you’re them choosing up shifts through the summer time, they’re very selective they usually wish to know forward of time what the wants are to allow them to make their plans.” 

Brookins stated Well being P.E.I. has typically delayed its plan to fill the holes that trip season causes till the tip of June, which makes it even more durable for nurses to make plans.  

She added that bringing in journey nurses is important however famous it won’t repair the already present drawback that there are nonetheless 300 employees vacancies within the system.  

“At this level, the system is so dangerous they don’t seem to be going to seek out 300 folks to fill the holes, and that’s simply to fill the holes – that’s with out folks asking to take day without work. Sure, they will have to usher in journey nurses to help the system.” 

Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union, said the vacancy rate for nurse practitioners and nurses in P.E.I. is 23.3 per cent. She said that will make staffing this summer an even greater challenge when it comes to vacation schedules. - Dave Stewart/SaltWire
Barbara Brookins, president of the P.E.I. Nurses’ Union, stated the emptiness fee for nurse practitioners and nurses in P.E.I. is 23.3 per cent. She stated that may make staffing this summer time a fair higher problem on the subject of trip schedules. – Dave Stewart/SaltWire

SaltWire contacted Well being P.E.I. for a response on April 28 and acquired an electronic mail assertion on Could 1.  

“We do count on to proceed to have to make use of journey nursing businesses,” stated the assertion issued by means of Everton McLean, senior communications officer with Well being P.E.I.  

“Making certain day without work for employees who want and deserve trip is essential and is a part of the explanation for using these businesses. As at all times, our intent and choice is to employees shifts with Well being P.E.I. employees nurses.” 

Well being P.E.I. spent $670,000 on journey nurses in 2021-22.  

McLean stated the figures usually are not accessible but on how a lot the province spent in 2022-23, however he stated Well being P.E.I. expects the value tag can be increased.  

Well being P.E.I.’s assertion stated as a result of non-public nature of contracts with nursing businesses and the work required to element the variety of employees used, it was not capable of launch the knowledge presently.  

Health P.E.I. spent $670,000 on travel nurses in 2021-22. - SaltWire file
Well being P.E.I. spent $670,000 on journey nurses in 2021-22. – SaltWire file

Eliza Estrella, managing director of EZcare nursing company in Scarborough, Ont., stated she can be pleased to ship a few of her nurses to P.E.I.  

“P.E.I. is a superb, good place to see, and I want to see my nurses go in there,” Estrella stated in a phone interview with SaltWire on Could 1. “Wherever we go we accommodate the hospital’s wants.” 

Estrella stated her nurses are paid $60 an hour to start out with some making as much as $100 an hour when incentives are included.  


Brookins stated the province should turn out to be extra aggressive when attracting graduates to P.E.I. or retaining those that come from UPEI’s nursing program.  

“We don’t have 5 universities, we have now one which places out nurses,” Brookins stated. “You both hope you might have an immigrant who desires to return to P.E.I. or somebody from off-Island who desires to maneuver to P.E.I.” 

She stated recruiting nurses is extraordinarily exhausting when individuals are being supplied, for instance, $10,000 by the Nova Scotia authorities as bonus cash simply to work of their hospitals and one other $10,000 to work a second 12 months.  

“And should you simply graduated from college, you get full (scholar) mortgage forgiveness. How do you compete with that?’’ 

Dave Stewart is a well being reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @DveStewart.

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