CNA News Room

CNA calls on federal government to invest in Canada’s nursing workforce

April 8, 2021 – Today, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) submitted a proposal to the federal health minister, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, asking for investments to support, strengthen and stabilize Canada’s nursing workforce to deliver the best possible care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nurses’ unique knowledge, expertise and leadership are essential to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and address long-overdue system changes after the immediate emergency begins to pass,” said CNA’s chief executive officer, Michael Villeneuve. “Greater investments in the nursing profession are needed so it can best contribute to improving health outcomes for all people living in Canada,” said Villeneuve.

The federal government is ideally positioned to lend its support and make investments to help turn things around. In the proposal, CNA laid out three recommendations:

  1. Invest $750,000 over three years to support newly graduated nurses moving into professional practice through the Nursing the Future initiative.
  2. Invest $2.6 million over three years to help certify thousands of nurses across Canada to strengthen the safe delivery of expert care to older adults through the CNA Certification Program.
  3. Reinstate the federal chief nursing officer (CNO) with appropriate resources and senior-level decision-making authority.

“Making investments in these areas will help to significantly strengthen the nursing workforce so that nurses can deliver on the promise of better health, better care, and better value for the taxpayers of Canada,” said CNA president Tim Guest. “The current tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic should be used as a catalyst for positive change in the nursing profession, with support from the federal government a meaningful step to stabilize the nursing workforce after this very challenging time.”

In March, CNA submitted a separate proposal to Health Canada that solely focused on reinstating the federal CNO position.


About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.

For more information, please contact:
Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-282-7859