Report paints troubling picture of worklife issues for Canada's Nurses

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has published a report which calls for a new approach to health human resources (HHR) planning in order to safeguard the quality of care for patients and families.

Bridging the Generational Divide: Nurses United in Providing Quality Patient Care provides stark evidence of the effects of ‘boom to bust’ models of nursing, with health human resource planning changing with every shift in the political landscape. The report paints a picture of a troubled workplace where frontline nurses struggle to meet their professional obligations to provide safe, quality care, in the face of excessive workloads and overtime, high nurse-patient ratios, and management that is too often removed from frontline realities.

Based on a comprehensive literature review, along with 18 focus groups with early‑career and mid- to late‑career nurses, as well as nursing students, Bridging the Generational Divide calls for key stakeholders in health and nursing human resource planning, including federal, provincial and territorial governments, to address the challenge of nurse retention and recruitment.

The report’s recommendations focus on six themes:

1. Work-life balance/health;
2. Evidence-based safe staffing;
3. Workplace relationships/leadership capacity;
4. Teamwork;
5. Student/new nurse graduates’ transition programs, and
6. Continuing education/professional development training.

The report is being released at the national Canadian Nurses Students’ Association annual meeting.