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Expanded seniors care to boost demand for nurses, report says

Ottawa, March 14, 2017 — In a new Conference Board of Canada report, co-sponsored by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), researchers are projecting a greater demand for nursing care provided to seniors in retirement communities, private, residential or long-term care homes, and other facilities. The demand for more nurses will increase even more as a result of recent decisions to expand home- and community-based care services and implement new dementia and palliative care strategies.

“The nursing profession is essential to providing continuing care supports to Canada’s senior population and is instrumental to realizing necessary health reforms,” said CNA president Barb Shellian. “Today’s report highlights the need for better nursing workforce data to adequately address nurse recruitment and retention in continuing care settings, gerontology education and training, the use of technology and innovative models of care delivery.”

Highlights from the report

  • Overall demand for nurses in continuing care is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent each year, from just under 64,000 full-year jobs today to 142,000 full-year jobs by 2035.
  • Currently, over 1.4 million Canadian seniors receive paid and unpaid continuing care supports, a figure that could increase by 71 per cent by 2026.

The health-care system needs wide-ranging solutions to successfully recruit and retain nurses. The continuing care work setting is not always the first choice. Issues such as workload, isolation, wage gaps between institutional and home care settings, and safety are key challenges that need to be addressed. CNA has called for the development of proficiency and leadership skills for regulated health-care providers through standards in training, education and practice in Better Home Care in Canada: A National Action Plan, developed in partnership with the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Home Care Association.

“Optimizing the nursing scope of practice must become a national priority for our country in order to face these challenges,” said Shellian.

The Conference Board report is part of the Future Care for Canadian Seniors series by the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care and is co-sponsored by the Canadian Nurses Association.


Read the full report

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca

Natasha Jamieson
Media Relations
The Conference Board of Canada
Tel.: 613-526-3090, ext. 307

Juline Ranger
Director of Communications
The Conference Board of Canada
Tel.: 613-526-3090, ext. 431