CNA News Room

Latest health workforce data confirms CNA’s predictions of critical nursing shortages

February 29, 2024 — Released today, the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) report, The State of the Health Workforce in Canada, 2022, confirms the Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) long-term predictions of critical nursing shortages. In 2009, CNA had predicted a national shortage of at least 60,000 registered nurses by 2022.

CIHI’s latest data shows how the health workforce supply is struggling to keep up with the increased demand for health services, notably caused by our aging population. This mismatch between supply and demand results in decreased access to primary care for patients. However, CIHI’s report also indicates that the supply of nurse practitioners is growing at an impressive 9% annual rate, the fastest among all health professionals, and that more nurse practitioners are filling in to cover severe shortages of family physicians.

“Retention is the absolute priority, or this situation will worsen. Our next priority should be recruiting more nurses. We also need to ensure that nurses are not only working to their full scope of practice, but that it be expanded to increase their productivity,” says CNA president Sylvain Brousseau.

The nursing workforce has significantly changed over the past decade. A growing number of nurses moved from the public to the private sector, but our overreliance on nurses that are employed by private agencies is a threat to the sustainability of our health systems.


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 nurses in all sectors and practice settings across all 13 provinces and territories. We represent unionized and non-unionized nurses, retired nurses, nursing students, and all categories of nurses (licensed and registered practical nurses, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses).

For more information, please contact:
Alexandre Bourassa
Lead, Public Affairs
Cell: 613-697-7497