A toxic workplace, 24-hour shifts, and excessive workloads are just some of the reasons RNs listed for leaving Health PEI, but Government didn’t act and now, our healthcare system is gasping for air.
Over the past summer, the emergency department at Prince County Hospital identified a 40 percent vacancy rate. Too many RN positions are vacant and moving other healthcare providers around within the system only creates further chaos and additional responsibilities for the RN.
In their leadership and coordination roles, RNs are well equipped, by virtue of their education and experience, to play the crucial role of advocate for patients and families. When patients and families face complex health problems, RNs use critical thinking and clinical judgment skills to provide safe, competent, and compassionate nursing care.
Registered Nurses play a key role in preventing errors from happening in hospitals, and reducing the length of hospital stays, the number of re-admissions, and the incidence of wound infections.
When we consider the shortage of RNs in our province, it is important to have the facts about the number of RN positions in Health PEI. As of September 2021, Health PEI has approximately 200 vacant Registered Nurse positions and several vacant Nurse Practitioner positions.
Permanent and temporary nursing vacancies continue to rise and although we saw the addition of new nursing graduates entering the system this spring, there are just as many retiring on the other end; more than 285 Registered Nurses within Health PEI are eligible to retire.
Islanders deserve a safe and efficient health care system, and Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners deserve a better working environment with realistic expectations.
Short term and long-term solutions are needed to address inadequate staffing, retention and recruitment of NPs and RNs. PEINU is calling on the provincial government to take action and asking Islanders to contact your local MLA and let them know that Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners are a valuable and irreplaceable part of our healthcare system.