CNA News Room

Canada must address its domestic nursing shortage and become self-sufficient rather than deplete other countries’ health human resources, CNA says

July 3, 2023 — Sylvain Brousseau, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), encourages the federal government to reiterate its commitment to ethical international recruitment of health workers, as outlined in the World Health Organization’s Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. During a panel on Canada’s health-care system, which will be held as part of the 2023 International Council of Nurses Congress, Brousseau will share Canada’s 460,000 regulated nurses’ perspective on the longstanding health human resources crisis with Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

The long-term solution requires focusing on the improvement of the working conditions and mental health of Canada’s nurses, who are exhausted by excessive workloads, understaffing, and overtime requirements. “Our health-care system’s most severe and urgent challenge is the shortage of health-care workers, and more specifically nurses,” said Brousseau. “We must retain nurses in the current workforce by improving their working conditions and their mental health. The federal government must work collaboratively with provinces and territories to address the domestic shortage of nurses.”

Canada’s nursing shortage pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated this longstanding trend. “Nursing shortages are global, and rich countries like Canada should not deplete other countries’ health human resources to solve its crisis. Internationally educated nurses are integral to Canada’s health-care system and more can be done to streamline immigration and licensing processes, but Canada must do so in solidarity with other countries that face acute health challenges of their own”, said Brousseau.


About the Canadian Nurses Association
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. Our mission is to advance the nursing profession to improve health outcomes in Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system. CNA is the only national association that speaks for all types of nurses across all 13 provinces and territories. We represent nurses that are unionized and non-unionized, retired nurses, nursing students, and all categories of nurses (registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses).

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