The federal government plans to cut $36 billion from Canada’s health care system. This means staffing levels will further deteriorate and patient care will suffer.
Canada needs a national, safe and sustainable health human resources plan to provide appropriate staffing levels to address working conditions and ensure quality, safe patient care.
Inadequate staffing increases hospital costs.
Inadequate staffing leads to an increase in nurse turnover, patients’ length of stay, the likelihood of medical errors – all of which are costly for Canada’s health care system.
Inadequate staffing leads to unhealthy and unsafe work environments for patients and nurses, threatening the quality and safety of patient care.
Patient care and patient safety are put at risk when frontline nurses have excessive workloads and overtime hours, high rates of absenteeism, and unsafe workplaces.
In 2013, the average age of an RN, the group that encompasses the majority of the nursing workforce, was 45; almost 26% were 55 or older, on the cusp of retirement. Meanwhile, many of our new nursing graduates are not able to find full-time work.
Now is the time for a national, safe, sustainable health human resources plan to address the challenge of an aging nursing workforce.
- The annual rate of turnover in nursing is 20%, and each time it costs $25,000 in additional costs.
- For each 10% increase in turnover, medical errors become 38% more likely.
- Nurses nearly worked 20 million overtime hours last year, costing $872 million.
- A nurse is more likely to be assaulted on the job than a police officer or prison guard.