September 22, 2023

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Grande Prairie nurse furthering her training at home to be ‘part of the solution’ amid staffing shortage

A Grande Prairie, Alta., nurse hopes to reduce the workforce scarcity in her job by furthering her training correct at property.

Chantelle Grey has been a registered nurse in the city for practically a 10 years. But she will quickly have a new established of credentials as she is nearing the conclude of her medical placement in Grande Prairie to grow to be a nurse practitioner by an online program at Athabasca University. 

“I just truly began to consider critically about it and be like, ‘maybe you really should be component of the option to this problem,'” Gray reported in an interview with CBC News.

The mom of two little ones, the two beneath three yrs of age, is furthering her education in the town about 450 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. 

“When I was thinking about setting up my nurse practitioner journey, there was seriously no way I could even, at that issue, drop [everything] and just go study in Edmonton.” 

Athabasca College is Canada’s most significant on-line university, web hosting 40,000 pupils connected up virtually throughout Canada and outside of with instructors. (CBC)

Alex Clark, the president of Athabasca College, mentioned the online school is functioning with Alberta Overall health Products and services (AHS) to determine far more practicum chances for nursing students throughout the province.

“Which indicates as a lot as doable, they can full their programs as shut to dwelling as they can,” Clark stated in an interview with CBC. 

He reported the university is operating with AHS on placements as significantly north as the town of High Stage, which is 733 kilometres north of Edmonton. Clark stated the new pathways to entire scientific placements are 1 section of overcoming a shortage of nurses. 

“1 of the crucial things of this initiative, is it transitions [licensed practical nurses] to be a lot more proficient RNs to superior meet up with the nursing workforce challenges,” Clark said. 

Recruiting and retaining 

AHS explained in a statement, there are nursing training bursaries out there through the Northern Alberta Improvement Council to recruit nurses to the spot. 

“The NADC bursary plan offers up to $12,000 in excess of two decades and is non-repayable if nurses agree to live and function in northern Alberta for a set period,” AHS spokesperson Shelly Willsey said. 

United Nurses of Alberta, a union representing a lot more than 30,000 RNs in the province, also presents up to $10,000 to help nurses relocate to rural and distant communities. 

Heather Smith, union president, said she supports chances for nurses to develop their information and credentials, but schooling is only just one aspect of the alternative. 

“We can extend seats. We can graduate more. But if we do not have welcoming, supportive work environments for these gentlemen and females, they will not continue to be,” Smith mentioned in an interview. 

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Heather Smith is president of the United Nurses of Alberta and claims making supportive do the job environments for aspiring nurses is vital. (Peter Evans/CBC)

Smith reported governments, companies and unions have to do the job collectively to completely transform workplaces. She explained that is especially crucial for nurses in rural and remote options who confront their have set of troubles. 

“The style of nursing that is accomplished in rural Alberta is quite unique,” Smith said. “It desires special concentrations of help in terms of training to put together them so they sense safe and sound and at ease treating and assembly the demands of the sufferers.” 

AHS reported a essential staffing job power has been established to superior comprehend recruitment and retention troubles in the Central and North zones. 

“AHS is also operating with authorities to construct our nursing workforce over-all, like signing new collective agreements this yr for RNs (UNA) and LPNs (AUPE),” Willsey explained.

She said AHS is also doing work with licensing bodies to streamline the course of action for internationally educated nurses and doing work with publish-secondary institutions and other systems to incorporate new seats.

For Gray, nursing is a labour of appreciate for her even amid the issues of the occupation.

“There is certainly practically nothing that compares to … understanding that you’ve got touched a person’s knowledge when they’re … genuinely obtaining a challenging time or they are actually battling with anything.”