Nursing cutbacks cloud health future

We are nursing students from Red Deer College. We are writing to bring to your attention our perspectives and first-hand experiences of the restructuring of Alberta Health Services and the concerns we have regarding the future of health care in Alberta and across Canada.

Re: Concerns regarding the recent restructuring of Alberta Health Services from a nursing student perspective; an open letter to Mary Anne Jablonski, minister of seniors and community supports and Red Deer North MLA.

We are nursing students from Red Deer College. We are writing to bring to your attention our perspectives and first-hand experiences of the restructuring of Alberta Health Services and the concerns we have regarding the future of health care in Alberta and across Canada. We would like to advocate for a long-term plan for public health care that views nursing as a valuable and indispensable human resource.

Firstly, our student colleagues in Alberta who have recently graduated have been unable to find employment due to the apparent hiring freeze. Ultimately entire graduating classes will be lost to other provinces, countries and professions. Although this has a personal impact, it also affects the Albertan nursing workforce down the road when these professionals will be badly needed. This also brings serious concern to the workforce of other provinces and territories as Albertan nurses will infiltrate into other workforces, thus decreasing the number of positions designated for locally trained nurses.

Secondly, as seen in history, the repercussions of the restructuring of the 1990s in the nursing profession created a generation gap, leaving a leadership and mentorship void in many practice settings. To make this mistake again would be even more detrimental to the current nursing shortage as once these nurses leave Alberta, it may be difficult to get them back. Historically, provinces that have reduced nursing positions have had extreme difficulty drawing back a generation that was lost. With the apparent hiring freeze and the number of retiring nurses, nurses are required to carry heavier workloads and are forced to work more mandatory overtime shifts. This will impact patient safety in two ways: nursing resources will be spread even thinner, and fatigue will lead to higher incidences of patient compromise, such as medication errors leading to death.

Nurses are legally bound to provide safe, competent and ethical care. This restructuring threatens the ability to give this care. While this greatly affects all nurses in Alberta and across Canada, it ultimately affects the health and wellness of all Canadians.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in giving your attention to our concerns.

Sincerely,

Kenna Pankiw

Mandy Blacklock

Katrina Vande Bunte

Red Deer

Just Posted

Trudeau: no apologies for heckler encounter, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

OTTAWA — Hate speech and the politics of division are creating a… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP charge woman with drug trafficking

Rocky Mountain House RCMP have charged a woman with drug trafficking after… Continue reading

Officials report some headway on wildfires, but thick smoke hangs over B.C.

Wildfire crews report some headway was made over the weekend battling hundreds… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month