Nursing survey to address work and recruitment challenges

The Peace River Regional District will be surveying nurses to help address challenges and increase recruitment to the region.

The PRRD board approved establishing a survey at their Oct. 22 meeting, which will be created in partnership with Northern Health and the BC Nurses’ Union.

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The PRRD met with BCNU representative Laura Baker in August, and identified several retention issues, including childcare access and affordability, staff shortages, working conditions, and stress related to COVID-19.

The PRRD is also considering whether to increase the intake for its healthcare scholarship program, and how to best market it. Promotional materials are already distributed to local high schools, Northern Lights College, and Northern Health.

The regional district offers several scholarships for high school students looking to enter healthcare, as well as for adults becoming healthcare assistants, Northern Health employees, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses.

There are $110,000 in scholarships available each year, and the PRRD spends another $250,000 a year on recruitment initiatives, including $75,000 to the North Peace Division of Family Practice, $75,000 to the South Health Services Society, and $100,000 to Northern Health.

Email reporter Tom Summer at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca

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