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Horizon Recruitment Progress Small Addition After Years Of Vacancies

By Tim Herd Aug 22, 2022 | 6:00 AM

Image courtesy New Brunswick Nurses Union

The president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) says more work is needed to fill health-care vacancies in the province.

The Horizon Health Network said last week that it has recruited 1,300 health care workers in the last five months.

Since April 1, the health authority has recruited and onboarded 240 registered nurses, 163 licensed practical nurses, 288 personal care attendants, and hundreds of allied health professionals and support service workers.

Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union, said she is glad to hear Horizon engaging with that many health care providers, but believes current recruitment is only a small addition to an already drowning system.

“Sadly, we’re in a situation right now that we’ve had so many vacancies for a number of years that this is only a small addition to an already drowning system that has been running so short for so long,” said Doucet.

“So many of my colleagues that are working within Horizon are still feeling the effects of going to work every day and working short, not knowing if they will be asked to stay at the end of their shift.”

Horizon also has a target of hiring more than 708 registered nurses during the current fiscal year and mentioned that it had achieved 34 per cent of that objective as of the end of July.

However, Doucet does not believe the network can accomplish that goal because of the province’s current post-secondary health care graduate numbers and competition in other jurisdictions.

“I don’t know if there’s 708 to be found, we don’t graduate that many out of the university programs, or through the community colleges for the licensed practical nurses, and I know that every other jurisdiction in Canada is faced with the same situation we are here in New Brunswick.”

“So, there’s a lot of competition going on for nursing graduates to go work every jurisdiction across Canada right now, so I think that’s a very lofty number, I hope they can reach it, but I’m doubtful that they will,” continued Doucet.

Doucet added the New Brunswick Nurses Union does not have a role in the recruitment process as it all lands on the employer.

“However, we do outreach to students, and have gone into high schools and universities to speak about the wonderful profession that nursing is, but recruitment efforts are strictly an employer incentive.”


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