Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 19(4) December 2006 : 8-12.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2006.18593

Nursing News


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New Book on Advanced Nursing Practice
A new publication from the International Council of Nurses, Advanced Nursing Practice, addresses one of the most dynamic and exciting developments in nursing and highlights the key role that nurses with advanced knowledge and skills play in developing healthcare services worldwide. Advanced Nursing Practice addresses the key issues in practice, education, regulation, research and role/practice development that are central to defining the distinctive nature of advanced nursing practice (ANP) and explores international developments in the field. Vignettes and contributions from key informants provide an international perspective of the successes, failures, hopes and aspirations of various ANP initiatives.
Advanced Nursing Practice is available through ICN's online bookshop at

Federal Funds for Nursing Portal
Health Canada will provide federal funding of $8.1 million over six years to launch and maintain the NurseOne portal, a tool of particular importance for the recruitment and retention of nurses in First Nations and Inuit communities. NurseOne is a bilingual portal that has been in development by the Canadian Nurses Association since 2002 and contains a wealth of health information for the Canadian public and for all nurses across Canada. This portal allows nurses to obtain timely, easily accessible information on all aspects of healthcare - from public health alerts, to consultations with experts and health specialists, to best practices.

Health Canada Invests in Heart Health Strategy
Health Canada also recently announced that work will begin on the development of a new Heart Health Strategy to fight heart disease in Canada. The government announced its intention to invest $3.2 million this fiscal year to support the development of Canada's new Heart Health Strategy, and initial work on addressing hypertension and cardiovascular disease surveillance. This funding will increase to $5.2 million annually for future years. Proposals for a new strategy will be developed and presented to the Minister by a steering committee of 20 to 30 expert members, chaired by respected cardiologist Dr. Eldon Smith. Dr. Smith is currently President and Director of the Peter Lougheed Medical Research Foundation, a national initiative to support excellence in health research in Canada. In November 2008, the committee will report back to the Minister with recommendations and options for a comprehensive Heart Health Strategy.

BC Attractive to Physicians
British Columbia attracted more doctors from within Canada and from abroad than any other province last year. According to a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), 113 physicians moved to BC from other provinces in 2005. British Columbia also had a net increase of 35 doctors from other countries.

BC Health Officer Promotes Healthier Lifestyles Now to Reduce Future Healthcare Costs
In British Columbia, the Provincial Health Officer's 2005 annual report made a strong case for the province's commitment to a healthier, fitter population as the best way to reduce future healthcare costs and provide British Columbians with the benefits that a safe, nutritious diet can bring to their lives.

The report contains a number of recommendations, which include:

  1. Promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools.
  2. Replacing unhealthy food and drinks in schools with healthy food and drinks.
  3. Making physical activity mandatory up to grade 12.
  4. Encouraging employers to support baby-friendly practices and provide appropriate places for mothers to breastfeed.
  5. Committing government to development of a healthy eating and food security strategy.
  6. Adjusting income supports to reflect the actual costs of healthy eating.
  7. Investing in chronic disease prevention and management.
  8. Improving housing conditions and economic and educational opportunities for Aboriginal people.
  9. Promoting community planning that encourages physical activity.
  10. Buying locally and supporting the local food industry.
  11. Implementing even more effective surveillance systems to detect food hazards and emerging trends and diseases.
  12. Continuing to support community kitchens, community gardens and farmers' markets.
  13. Maintaining policy to protect agricultural land.
  14. Regulating and monitoring food industry marketing approaches more closely.
  15. Labelling all genetically altered food to provide consumers with choices.

The full report can be downloaded or read online at

Alberta Government Investing in Child Health
The Alberta government has committed more than $30 million in funding for seven new programs that will help put children and youth on a path to lifelong health. These initiatives include a screening program to detect conditions in newborns, programs to promote healthy weights and an award for healthy school communities.

New Degree Program in Regina
The University of Regina recently announced a new Bachelor of Health Studies degree offered in partnership with the faculties of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Arts, and the First Nations University of Canada - the first degree of its kind in western Canada. It aims to provide students with an integrated understanding of the ways in which social, economic and cultural determinants of health shape individual beliefs, attitudes and practices, and how these affect the functioning of individuals.

Saskatchewan Introduces Recruitment Programs
Saskatchewan Health Minister Len Taylor recently unveiled four innovative initiatives aimed at attracting health professionals to Saskatchewan: (a provincial recruitment agency); the Saskatchewan Relocation Program; the Saskatchewan Rural, Northern and Hard-to-Recruit Program; and an expansion of clinical placement capacity. is a no-fee healthcare recruitment website connecting health professionals with career opportunities in regional health authorities and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

The other initiatives flow from the $25 million retention and recruitment plan announced in September, and will support the provincial recruitment agency and the health regions in their recruitment efforts. Through the Saskatchewan Relocation Program and the Rural, Northern and Hard-to-Recruit Program, the government has set a target of hiring 600 new health employees to fill vacancies over the next two years - approximately 400 nurses and 200 employees from the broader health workforce. The cost for these two programs is estimated at $6 million over the next two years.

Saskatchewan to Introduce New Provincewide Radiology System
Saskatchewan Health has announced a new radiology information system that will improve diagnostic imaging services and make diagnostic images and results available electronically to healthcare providers across the province. The Radiology Information System will link with existing hospital information systems to coordinate patient information, including X-ray, CT scan and MRI results. The multi-year project will result in a system capable of storage and digital imaging studies, and will allow health providers secure access to them throughout the province. The system will schedule patients for diagnostic imaging services, improve the utilization of diagnostic staff and equipment, and eventually link with a diagnostic imaging wait list registry in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba to Enhance Patient Safety
Manitoba is introducing legislation to enhance patient safety by allowing improved investigation of critical incidents. The Regional Health Authorities Amendment and Manitoba Evidence Amendment Act will require by law that regional health authorities, healthcare facilities and other healthcare organizations report critical incidents that can occur when patients receive healthcare services.

The legislation will apply to regional health authorities, hospitals, personal-care homes, all licensed land and air ambulances, the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, CancerCare Manitoba and Diagnostic Services Manitoba.

Ontario Creates Nurse Practitioner Clinic
The Ontario government is improving access to health serv- ices in northeastern Ontario by investing over $1 million to establish a nurse practitioner primary healthcare clinic. The clinic, which will have up to six nurse practitioners, will have three sites - in Sudbury, Chapleau and Dowling. Working in collaboration with family doctors and other health profes- sionals in the area, the nurse practitioners will provide comprehensive care to about 5,000 patients in the region who do not have a family doctor.

$50 Million Donation for Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital
Businessmen and philanthropists Joseph and Wolf Lebovic recently made a $50 million gift to Mount Sinai Hospital - the largest hospital donation in Canadian history. The money will be used in part to help fund the hospital's share of a major capital redevelopment program currently being planned in partnership with the province, with the initial support of an $8 million planning and design grant. The first phase of this plan is the renewal and expansion of the world- class Women's and Infants' Health Centre of Excellence.

Architects for New McGill Health Centre Announced
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) recently announced that a consortium of award-winning Quebec architects has stepped up to design the health centre's two campuses - a $1.579 billion project. The consor- tium brings together the talented firms of Les Architectes Lemay et associés; Jodoin Lamarre Pratte et associés architectes; André Ibghy Architectes; and Menkès Shooner Dagenais Letourneux. The renowned firms of Moshe Safdie & Associates and Perkins+Will will contribute additional strength and vision.

The MUHC is a research-intensive institution that provides clinical care across the entire spectrum of ages and teaches the next generation of healthcare professionals. The Redevelopment Project will consolidate the MUHC's services onto two campuses - the Mountain and the Glen. While each campus has particular challenges, the architects will need to create an overall environment that promotes optimal effi- ciency for all users.

Nova Scotia to Allow Midwives
Nova Scotia has introduced legislation that will allow midwives to become part of primary maternity care teams in that province. Midwives will help support the healthcare system by working with family physicians and other primary healthcare providers to deliver care to women and families.

The 2003 Report of the Nova Scotia Advisory Committee on Primary Health Care Renewal recommended a team approach to primary maternity care, involving family physicians and midwives.

New Addictions Treatment Centre
In Newfoundland, a new Provincial Addictions Treatment Centre in Corner Brook will provide an enhanced treatment program, including a non-medical detox program that will provide seamless transfer from detox to treatment and will incorporate clients who are in the latter stages of detox, promoting better opportunity for rehabilitation. The physi- cal structure of the new facility will incorporate modern and more private accommodations and will include areas for fitness, recreation, dining and group therapy. Additionally, the facility will provide office and counselling space for the 13 addictions counsellors responsible for the outpatient program in Corner Brook.

Yukon Government Signs Agreement with Capital Health to Improve Care
The Yukon Ministry of Health and Social Services recently announced an agreement in principle with Alberta's Capital Health to provide assistance to Yukon patients referred to Edmonton for medical care. The agreements will have staff in each of the three health regions follow up with Yukon patients to ensure that health services are coordinated and that supports are in place for Yukon residents who may not be familiar with the community. In addition, navigators will be able to work with Yukon healthcare providers to ensure that discharge planning and follow-up treatments are avail- able. Staff from the regions will visit Yukon to learn about the healthcare system and get general knowledge on community profiles.

Capital Health is also providing specialized services to residents of both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The care team consists of a Medical Director, Patient Care Director and four Registered Nurses, all with experience working and living in the North, to provide support to north- ern patients while they are in Edmonton for medical care.

National Survey on the Work and Health of Nurses
On December 11 2006, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Health Canada and Statistics Canada released the findings of the largest and most comprehensive survey ever conducted on the work and health of nurses in Canada. More than 19,000 nurses from across Canada took part in the survey, which sheds important new light on the issues they face in their day-to-day life, such as overtime, work overload, physical and mental health problems, medical errors and exposure to risk.

Highlights from the Survey

Physical Conditions

  • Over a quarter (29%) of nurses who provided direct care reported that they had been physically assaulted by a patient in the previous year. Emotional abuse from a patient was reported by 44% of all nurses.
  • One in three nurses (37%) experienced pain serious enough to prevent them from carrying out their normal duties in the previous year.
  • Nearly half of all nurses (48%) who provided direct care reported having ever had a needlestick or other injury from a sharp object (for example, scissors, scalpels, razors) that had been contaminated by use on a patient. One in ten reported having had such an injury in the past year alone.
  • 61% of nurses reported taking time off for health reasons in the previous year. Nurses who were absent missed on average 23.9 days (about a month) a year.

Mental Health

  • The proportion of nurses reporting a high level of work stress was higher than for employed people in general. Nearly one in three female nurses were classified as having high job strain, compared to one in four employed women overall.

Patient Care

  • One in three nurses (35%) report occasional or frequent nosocomial infections (infections that originate in hospitals or other health facilities) in patients under their care.
  • 31% said patients in their care had been injured in a fall.
  • Nearly one in five (18%) reported occasional or frequent medication errors among patients in their care.
  • More than one in four (27%) said the quality of care delivered in their workplace had deteriorated in the previous 12 months, compared to 16% reporting improvements.

Work Conditions

  • Job dissatisfaction was more prevalent (12%) among nurses than among employees in general (8%) - but only 4% intended to leave the profession.
  • Nurses were much more likely to work overtime than employees overall. Three in ten nurses said they regularly worked paid overtime, while an even greater number of nurses (1 in 2) said they regularly worked unpaid overtime - about twice the national average for female employees.
  • More than one in three nurses (37%) reported inadequate staffing levels in their last shift worked. One in eight said their nursing team had provided fair or poor care.

For more information go to:

CIHI Reports

According to another recent report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), the number of regulated nurses employed in Canada increased by 2.0% between 2004 and 2005, from 315,121 to 321,590. The workforce included 251,675 registered nurses (RNs) representing 78.3% of the total, as well as 64,951 (20.2%) licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and 4,964 (1.5%) registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs). (RPN is a regulated profession in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.)

The report, called Highlights from the Regulated Nursing Workforce in Canada, 2005, offers a comprehensive look at the workforce trends of the largest group of regulated healthcare providers in the country. For the first time, this annual report provides data at the provincial health region level that show real differences between the regions. For example, the report compares the number of nurses in regions with similar populations, such as Ottawa, Calgary and Richmond, BC - areas defined as mainly urban with a moderately high population density.

Provincial and territorial government spending on healthcare is expected to increase by 5.7% in 2006-2007, according to a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Preliminary Provincial and Territorial Government Health Expenditure Estimates, 1974-1975 to 2006-2007 reveals that health spending by provincial and territorial governments is expected to reach $96.0 billion in 2006-2007, up from an estimated $90.9 billion in 2005-2006 and $85.3 billion in 2004-2005. The estimated annual increase in spending for 2006-2007 (5.7%) is slightly lower than the estimated annual growth rate for 2005-2006 (6.5%), and lower than the average annual growth rate (7.0%) in provincial and territorial health spending from 2001-2002 to 2004-2005.


Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the national association representing more than 50 research-based pharmaceutical companies in Canada, has appointed Philip Blake, President and CEO of Bayer Inc., as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Dr. Lyall Higginson, from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, has been appointed the new President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS). The CCS represents more than 1,500 professionals in the cardiovascular field. Its mission is to promote cardiovascular health and care through knowledge translation, the dissemination of research, encouragement of best practices, professional development and leadership in health policy.

The Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) is opening its first satellite office, in Edmonton, Alberta. The opening of this new office is key to strengthening the connection with northern and western Canadian clients and keeping a pulse on key regional and provincial healthcare developments. The Edmonton office will be led by Donna Hutton, a healthcare professional who has been a surveyor for CCHSA since 1992. Prior to starting her own healthcare consulting company, Hutton and Associates, Ms. Hutton was Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses.

Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), recently announced the appointment of Dr. Jane Aubin as incoming Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). This appointment is effective January 1, 2007. Dr. Aubin is Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where she directs the bone program at the Centre for Modeling Human Disease. She is also currently Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence, a national not-for-profit research consortium.

Kevin Empey, Executive Vice President of Clinical Support and Corporate Services at University Health Network (UHN), received the Hospital Leadership Award at the Who's Who in Healthcare Awards on October 23, 2006. Mr. Empey was congratulated for keeping a $1.2 billion organization within a balanced budget and for his successful creation of UHN's warehouse/logistics company to streamline purchasing and reduce storage costs at the hospital.

Michel Bilodeau, a seasoned healthcare professional in the Canadian healthcare landscape, took over the helm as the third CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) on November 20, 2006. Mr. Bilodeau replaced Garry Cardiff, who retired after almost 20 years of service to the organization.

Linda Moxey has been appointed Vice President, Customer Care with Syneron Medical Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of medical aesthetic devices.

The Board of Directors of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Group Health Association has announced the appointment of Graham Clark to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Group Health Association, effective November 1, 2006. Mr. Clark comes to GHA from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, where he has both managed and consulted for the Health Reform Implementation Team. He has also held a variety of positions at hospitals throughout Ontario, including Executive Director of Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, Ontario.

Dr. Sue Matthews has joined VON Canada as National Executive Director, Disease Management and Chief of Practice for Ontario. In this role, Dr. Matthews will be responsible for developing the strategy and overall directions for several of VON's new growth initiatives. She will be leading a team involved in developing Chronic Disease Management programs and building a series of programs that will allow VON to provide more services that help Canadians with Chronic Diseases.. Dr. Matthews is an experienced Nursing Leader having held a variety of positions as a staff nurse, nurse educator, manager, director of inpatient programs, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice, and most recently as Provincial Chief Nursing Officer for Ontario.


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