Canada, just like many countries of the industrialized world, has been struggling with a nursing shortage. Some of the essay writer factors that have contributed to the global shortage of registered nurses (RNs) include changing work environments, an increase in the size of elderly populations in the profession, existing policies, competition from other career opportunities, and healthcare system restructuring, among others. In Canada, specific regions have been adversely affected by a reduction in the number of RNs. Specifically, Ontario has experienced decreases in the number of RNs and this suggests a looming crisis for the region’s health sector.
A significant population of RNs in Ontario is made up of individuals that are 50 years are older (Kwok, Bates, & Ng, 2016). It means that as this population ages, many RNs positions will remain vacant and this means that the province could face a shortage of RNs. Without proper interventions to fill the positions of these nurses who will be retiring in a few years, there is a looming crisis in Ontario’s health sector. With a nursing shortage in the province, patient safety will be affected directly. According to the CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, Dianne Martin, the reduction in the number of RNs in Ontario has affected the practicing nurses in the province as they deal with moral distress regularly (Martin, 2019). The unprecedented level of stress that nurses face in the struggle to provide services to patients has been caused by a decrease in the number of RNs. Martin states that a survey conducted on the causes of high moral distress among these nurses revealed that several factors were responsible such as poor communication, inadequate staff due to lack of funding, and rushing the daily care of patients because of insufficient nursing staff (Martin, 2019). A continuation of this trend could mean that Ontario’s healthcare sector could be severely affected as patients would not get quality care.
According to Martin, Ontario’s health policies over the years have contributed to the looming RNs shortage as they have failed to address the issues affecting the province’s healthcare system. Being at the front lines of service delivery, nurses are forced to deal with the ineffective human resource strategies and inadequate healthcare funding that arise from Ontario’s health policies’ inability to cover all the issues in the region’s healthcare system (Martin, 2019). The policies have contributed to the high number of nurses leaving the profession as they are forced to bear with the problem of a nurse shortage, thereby, leading to them being overwhelmed. Despite the Conservative government at Queen’s Park building being clear on the need to make the region’s healthcare system patient-centered, it has failed to enforce policies focused on reducing untenable and unreasonable workloads for RNs, a situation considered the root of moral distress.
In response to the looming crisis in Ontario, various solutions have been proposed by different people on how to address the problem. For instance, the CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, Dianne Martin, believes that there is a need for bold leadership from policymakers, healthcare leaders, and elected officials (Martin, 2019). Since this cannot be solved by the government alone, all parties should be involved as this will ensure that the interests of patients are considered. By involving every party involved in the healthcare system, a patient-centered perspective that focuses on ways to deliver efficient healthcare to the people will be developed.
The President of Ontario Nurses Association, Vicki McKenna, believes that the reinstatement of the Nursing Graduate Guarantee, a program that helps in the recruitment and retention of nurses, can help the province avoid the looming RNs shortage. The program was recently put on hold with the possibility of being cut (Frketich, 2018). According to McKenna, the program has played an important role in the retention of nurses and by being put on hold, nurses that have been trained in Ontario will likely be lured to seek jobs in other provinces and this could affect the province considering that it is currently experiencing the lowest growth in its workforce in the past decade (Frketich, 2018).
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) recommends the collaboration of all health stakeholders in addressing the looming nurse shortage in various regions in the country (Villeneuve, 2017). For instance, governments, unions, professional associations, employers, colleges, and RNs should collaborate to identify workplace improvement efforts that can be focused to help in improving the health and wellbeing of RNs. These can encompass addressing workplace morale, addressing high role overload, and acquiring efficient technologies to reduce injuries.
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In consideration of the suggested solutions above to the looming RNs shortage in Ontario, the position taken by the Canadian Nurses Association presents the best solution to the issue. According to the CNA, addressing the looming crisis should involve all health stakeholders as this will offer the best solution that is ideal for all them (Villeneuve, 2017). First, the position is ideal because it will ensure that patient-centered outcomes are reached. With the involvement of RNs in the discussions, they will ensure that the solutions reached take into consideration the needs of the patient. Therefore, the overburdening of nurses that in turn can affect the quality of care provided by nurses will be addressed (Ariste, Béjaoui, & Dauphin, 2019). Secondly, round-table discussions involving all stakeholders will come up with solutions that apply to all. It means that the needs of RNs will be considered and this suggests the possible reduction in the number of RNs that leave the profession. As stated by Zaheer, Ginsburg, Wong, Thomson, Bain, and Wulffhart (2019), the health stakeholders will understand the importance of supportive supervisors on staff turnover intention. Therefore, by involving RNs in discussions regarding the issue, they will provide recommendations on ways to address the problem, most of which will touch on work-related problems they encounter. Also, the involvement of all health stakeholders in finding a solution to the looming RNs shortage crisis will likely enhance collaboration between these stakeholders as they will understand the role they play in the province’s health sector.
The position taken on the ideal way to address the looming shortage of RNs in Ontario will likely get the support of several stakeholders in the health sector. The major associations will likely support it because it involves the consideration of the opinions of RNs in coming up with working solutions. These associations include the Canadian Nurses Association (CAN), Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), and Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). The appropriate decision-maker that has been selected is Christine Elliot, Ontario’s current health minister. She is appropriate because she is tasked with the administration of the healthcare system and the provision of health services in Ontario.
Ariste, R., Béjaoui, A., & Dauphin, A. (2019). Critical analysis of nurses’ labour market effectiveness in Canada: The hidden aspects of the shortage. The International journal of health planning and management, 34(4), 1144-1154.
Frketich, H. (2018). Key Ontario nursing retention program in jeopardy. The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved from https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8741367-key-ontario-nursing-retention-program-in-jeopardy/
Martin, D. (2019). Martin: Ontario’s nurses are facing unprecedented levels of stress. Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved from https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/martin-ontarios-nurses-are-facing-unprecedented-levels-of-stress
Kwok, C., Bates, K. A., & Ng, E. S. (2016). Managing and sustaining an ageing nursing workforce: identifying opportunities and best practices within collective agreements in Canada. Journal of nursing management, 24(4), 500-511.
Villeneuve, M. J. (2017). Public policy and Canadian nursing: Lessons from the field. Toronto; Vancouver: Canadian Scholars.
Zaheer, S., Ginsburg, L., Wong, H., Thomson, K., Bain, L., & Wulffhart, Z. (2019). Turnover intention of hospital staff in Ontario, Canada: exploring the role of frontline supervisors, teamwork, and mindful organizing. Human Resources for Health, 17(66). https://human-resources-health.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12960-019-0404-2#article-info
Hon. Christine Elliott
Minister of Health
438 University Ave, 8th floor
Toronto Ontario M5G 2K8
RE: Request to Consider My Position on How to Address the Looming Registered Nurses
Shortage in Ontario
I have written this letter to share with you my position for consideration on the effective way to deal with the Registered Nurses (RNs) shortage in Ontario. My position is that there should be a collaboration of all health stakeholders in addressing the looming nurse shortage in Ontario and these stakeholders will include governments, unions, professional associations, employers, colleges, and RNs.
I support this action because it is among the numerous ones that have been tested by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and have been proved to be efficient in addressing nurse shortages. By involving all stakeholders in the health sector, the probability of the decisions reached taking into account patient-centered outcomes will be high since RNs will have the opportunity to present what they consider is ideal for patients as they deal with patients regularly and understand their needs. Not only patient-centered outcomes will be considered, but also the needs of the RNs. Over the years, RNs have continued to suffer at the expense of policymakers and this is because they are never involved in decision-making. However, when the recommendation by the CNA is considered, RNs will get an opportunity to contribute to what they believe is ideal for them and this may be handy in reducing the number of nurses that are dissatisfied with their working conditions. Additionally, they will provide recommendations on ways to address the problem, most of which will touch on work-related problems they encounter.
It is obvious that when all stakeholders in the health sector are involved in coming up with a solution to the looming RNs shortage, the solutions will be considerate of different opinions and apply to all. It means that the interests of all the stakeholders will be considered and this is important as it will encourage collaboration between all the parties in the provision of quality healthcare to the people of Ontario. These stakeholders will understand the important roles they play in the province’s health sector and this will help in enhancing collaborations because most of the times these roles are intertwined.
Another reason for considering this position is that it will likely get the support of professional associations and groups within the nursing sector. The Canadian Nursing Association commands respect from several associations and groups in nursing and since the position has been derived from one of its recommendations on effective ways to deal with nurse shortages, most associations will rally behind this position because it will be focused on ways in which nurses can be part of the formulation of policies. In this case, the position calls for the collaboration of all stakeholders in nursing and this means that the opinions of RNs will also be taken into account during the formulation of policies, one of the main ideas being pushed for by most of these professional associations.
The idea that the position calls for the involvement of all stakeholders in the health industry makes the position worth supporting because by doing this, the chances of success in addressing the looming nurse shortage in Ontario are increased as this will present an opportunity to know all the stakeholders, their preferred way of communication, their needs, and their acceptable results regarding the action taken.
The collaboration of stakeholders will be ideal as it will help in the provision of expertise. In every situation, stakeholders play an important role because they are a wealth of knowledge about historical information, current processes, and industry insight. By involving all stakeholders in identifying the solution to the RNs shortage in Ontario, it is highly likely that expert information will be easily accessible because different opinions will be shared on ways to address the problem, some of which may encompass past failures and successes. Therefore, it is due to this that the collaboration of stakeholders is encouraged. For every decision that involves various stakeholders, there is a need for acceptance. This can only be achieved if all the stakeholders are involved in the making of the decision and this is what the selected position entails. It means that by engaging all the stakeholders in the formulation of the solution to address the looming shortage of RNs, the decision made will not only be unifying but will get the support of all the involved parties.
From the justifications above, it is evident that the selected action, the collaboration of stakeholders in the health sector in coming up with a solution that is accepted by all, is worth getting supported by a decision-maker and this is the reason I approached you in the capacity of Ontario’s health minister. I need you to push for the involvement of all stakeholders in the making of all decisions regarding health in Ontario because this can help to address the looming nurse shortage crisis. By pushing for the involvement of all stakeholders; particularly, RNs, the shortage will be dealt with because you will get an opportunity to make decisions that consider the interests of these RNs. Usually, RNs understand the needs of patients and this means that by encouraging the collaboration of stakeholders, you will manage to address the needs of patients, RNs, and all other involved parties.
Minister, kindly support the call for the rejection of the policy on the privatization of healthcare in Ontario. It is needless to privatize healthcare yet there is an opportunity to address the looming shortage of RNs by involving all stakeholders in the decision-making process. The privatization of healthcare in Ontario will increase the cost of healthcare in the province and this will make healthcare a challenge to the people of Ontario. Healthcare costs should be average so that any average Ontarian can get healthcare services without straining. Also, the lack of clear regulations to guide private healthcare means that the province may experience problems in the future. When healthcare is privatized, average Ontarians will be made to pay exorbitant prices to access healthcare services and this means that Ontarians will be exposed to more suffering. When healthcare is privatized, average Ontarians will be made to pay dubious safety and user charges that were inexistent before and this is why there is a need to support the abolition of the policy on the privatization of healthcare. Minister, I believe that you care about the interests of average Ontarians just as the nursing fraternity and this is the reason I am beseeching you to consider my position on the effective ways to deal with the looming RNs shortage.