Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 35(4) January 2023 : 14-28.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2023.27076
Special Focus On Nursing Retention

Sustaining the Canadian Nursing Workforce: Targeted Evidence-Based Reactive Solutions in Response to the Ongoing Crisis

Houssem Eddine Ben-Ahmed and Ivy Lynn Bourgeault


Inadequate staffing, excessive workloads, endemic violence and unhealthy workplaces are some of the challenges facing Canadian nurses. Leaving these issues unaddressed has had pernicious impacts on the nursing workforce: thousands of nurses across Canada have been suffering from extreme stress, anxiety and burnout, leading many of them to leave their current jobs and, for some, the profession of nursing altogether. We conducted a comprehensive yet rapid review of evidence-based solutions from the peer-reviewed and policy literature, stakeholder dialogues and member surveys commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions that could be implemented and scaled across Canada. Our findings support coordinated series of collectively planned, carefully sequenced and evidence-based interventions to retain, return, integrate and recruit nurses targeted to support the nursing workforce from training to early-, mid- and late-career stages. The implementation of these reactive solution bundles will also enhance the quality of healthcare services and, more broadly, the healthcare system.



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