This paper is going to critical examine the nursing shortage facing Canada at present. Canada is going through a nursing crisis; this is an observation being expressed by many people across the country, by the public and the health managers. Where as, there are various perspectives to explain the situation, there is a general concurrence that the present shortage on nurses is worsening and should be addressed, before it leads to poor provision of health care in the country.
There is every reason why the nursing profession should be an attractive profession of choice. McIntyre & Thomlinson (2003), states that the profession of nursing has the elements to being a fulfilling and exciting lifetime career of choice, providing challenging and different practice opportunities. Nursing profession allows for flexibility of job employment and gives a chance for a balanced work and family life. It provides endless opportunities in education, research, administration and a lot more. Yet in Canada, fewer students are enrolling for this profession contributing to the shortage. (McIntyre & Thomlinson, 2003)
The barrier of solving the problem has been lack of proper health policies that can address the situation. Failure of stakeholders coming up with ways to address the problem and creating good attractive conditions to retain the nurses in the profession from moving have highly contributed to persistence of this problem
Nature of the issue; what makes this issue a nursing issue
Studies reveal that, some nurses in Canada are simply not taking up their jobs of nursing and opting to stay back home waiting for full time jobs. It has also been observed that the rate of absenteeism has increased reducing the number of nurses availing for patients. This has continued to contribute to the problem of shortage of nurses in the country. A related alarm is the rate of nurse graduates leaving the country to work else where after graduating, this also have contributed to the shortage of the nurses in the country. (Canadian Nurses Association, 2005)
The healthcare is facing a nursing shortage that is as a result of workforce related issue. In Canada there is basically less nursing care funded hours yet there are too many nursing needs. This has resulted to those nurses available being overworked and stressed, this is the main problem. The current shortage of nurses is mainly also caused by the following factors;
1. A real present shortage of available nurses that is limited number of available seats for nurses in education programs and also a nursing workforce that is aging.
2. Human resources management aspects which, makes it difficult to exploit fully on the productivity of the available nurses. These aspects are high overtime, high level of part-time, high absenteeism increased number of tasks that are no-nursing and limited range of practice.
3. Limited funds allocated to hire the required number of nurses who are needed to deliver appropriate care services needed. (Canadian Nurses Association, 2005)
Working in the concept of rising acuity, complexity and intensity of patient care surroundings and an corrosion of leadership in nursing themselves resulting from the effects of downsizing witnessed in the 1990s, the above three factors are the root cause of nursing shortage in Canada that is being