Nursing a trend
By Maija Ambrogio
A recent population study done by statistician Eva Ryten predicts a shortage of 59, 000 to 113, 000 nurses by the year 2011.
Ryten was hired by the Canadian Nursing Association to conduct the study, which examined specific trends in the future of nursing, said director of corporate services for CNA Maureen Farrington.
Results show we will soon have an aging nursing work force, less people entering the profession, an increase in population by 23 per cent and an aging population which will dramatically increase demands on the Canadian health care system.
This study contradicts the current era of health care reform, layoffs and increased work load, Farrington said. "We are still concerned with the safety and quality of care for Canadians in the future."
Carroll Iwasiw, acting director of Western's school of nursing, said enrollment at the school is not decreasing but rather, the opposite is happening. "Our goal is to fill our 64 spaces and we have succeeded this year. All of our classes are full."
Elsie MacMaster, undergraduate program coordinator for the school of nursing, said this is an improvement from previous years. "The demand for nurses has been low because of the health care cuts and layoffs, however, there has been some recovery."
MacMaster said she attributes this recovery and the ongoing improvement to the aging of nurses in Southern Ontario. Within the next five years there will be a high demand for nurses in London and the surrounding area, she added.
The nursing school has no plans to expand at this time, however it may be looked into within the next few years if there is an increase in the demand for nurses, she added.
Health Canada media relations officer Steve Jeffery said the government was unable to comment at this time and will wait for a report provided by the Federal Provincial Territorial Advisory.