Government Announces Incentives For Rural Nurse Practitioners
Written by Colin Powers/Juanita Tuntland on Thursday, 03 April 2014
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health has announced new incentives to get more Nurse Practitioners in rural communities.
The strategy includes incentives for registered nurses who receive nurse practitioner training, and grants for NPs who relocate to hard-to-recruit rural areas.
A new recruitment strategy announced today includes wages and benefits for registered nurses for up to two years while they receive nurse practitioner training, and incentive grants of up to 40-thousand dollars for nurse practitioners who move to rural areas.
“Nurse practitioners are a harder to recruit position because they are in high demand across the province and across the country actually. There’s been a lot of graduates but because of the high demand there are more positions than there are nurse practitioners,” said Greg Grant, Director of Primary Health for The Cypress Health Region.
There will also be a nurse practitioner locum pool and position transfer opportunities within health regions. The Cypress Health Region is in a good position with our number of Nurse Practitioners because we are closer to urban centers than some areas in need.
“What this strategy will address is recruiting to our rural sites because a lot of the times it’s harder for people to come out to these sites because they don’t have family or connections there they tend to move towards larger urban centers,” said Grant.
In our region there is little struggle to fill the positions, but Grant mentions that in Northern Saskatchewan will benefit from the strategy.
“Currently our only vacancy is in Shaunavon,” said Grant. “We have eight primary health care sites in our region, and we have currently six nurse practitioners that serve those eight sites. They’re multi-site employees.”
More than 170 nurse practitioners are currently licenced in Saskatchewan.
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