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Report: More Nurses Working in Canada

Nurse supply has grown faster than population.
By: Bev Spritzer
Published: December 9th, 2010 in News » World
Nursing studentsPic: Nursing students

According to a report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Canada’s supply of nurses has grown faster than the rate of population growth, although levels have still not returned to how they were before health care budget cuts in the 90’s.

The CIHI said on Thursday that there are just over 266,000 registered nurses, according to data collected from 2005 to 2009.

The report also said that, according to longer-term data, there are actually fewer registered nurses today relative to the size of our population than there were 20 years ago. In 1992, there were 824 RNs for every 100,000 Canadians, compared to 789 per 100,000 in 2009.

"In the mid-1990s, with cuts to health-care budgets across Canada, we saw reductions in the numbers of nurses and other health-care professionals working in this country, as governments implemented hiring freezes and early retirement packages," said Michael Hunt, the CIHI’s director of pharmaceuticals and health workforce information services.

"Despite reinvestments in health care over the past 10 years, the ratio of nurses to the Canadian population has still not returned to what it was in the early ྖs. In contrast, the number of physicians relative to the size of the population is now at an all-time high," he continued.

Interestingly, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) noted the CIHI numbers showed that most new RN positions are in hospitals rather than community-based care.

According to the CBC, the average age of the Canadian nursing workforce remained stable at 45 between 2005 and 2009.

Another report, released last week by the CNA and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, showed a 10-year high in student admissions to nursing programs.

Related articles: nursing, registered nurse, health care, budget cuts
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