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Rural areas in northern BC not filling nursing positions

Courtesy the Office of the Auditor General

A new report from the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia has some unsettling results.

“We looked to see if Northern Health was effectively recruiting and retaining enough registered nurses and nurse practitioners to fill the rural and remote positions identified in its 2016/17 Health Human Resources Plan,” explains Auditor General Carol Bellringer.

“We concluded that it was not.”

The report shows a number of factors contributed to the shortage including weather, isolation, limited amenities which are listed as reasons out of Northern Health’s control.

“As of last April, Northern Health was short 121 registered nurses or 15% of its rural and remote workforce,” Bellringer says.

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“And more than a quarter of rural and remote nurse practitioner positions were unfilled.”

In the Nechako region, total registered nurses are short by 17 in relation to the forecasted demand.

The full report is available here.

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