Abstract

Financial incentives are increasingly offered to recruit nursing personnel to work in underserved communities. The authors describe and compare the characteristics of federal, provincial and territorial financial recruitment incentive programs for registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered practical nurses or registered psychiatric nurses. The authors identified incentive programs from government, health ministry and student aid websites and by contacting program officials. Only government-funded recruitment programs providing funding beyond the normal employee wages and benefits and requiring a service commitment were included. The authors excluded programs offered by hospitals, regional or private firms, and programs that rewarded retention. All provinces and territories except QC and NB offer financial recruitment incentive programs for RNs; six provinces (BC, AB, SK, ON, QC and NL) offer programs for NPs, and NL offers a program for LPNs. Programs include student loan forgiveness, tuition forgiveness, education bursaries, signing bonuses and relocation expenses. Programs target trainees, recent graduates and new hires. Funding and service requirements vary by program, and service requirements are not always commensurate with funding levels. This snapshot of government-funded recruitment incentives provides program managers with data to compare and improve nursing workforce recruitment initiatives.