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'Burnout and dissatisfaction': New initiative aims to keep nurses from leaving profession in Canada

A nurse prepares to see a patient at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, B.C., on June 4, 2021. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press) A nurse prepares to see a patient at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, B.C., on June 4, 2021. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press)
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Canada is launching a resource to help retain and support nurses amid greater workloads, abuse as well as high rates of burnout, stress, anxiety and depression.

Health Minister Mark Holland announced Monday that a new nursing retention toolkit will aim to help improve the working lives of nurses. Created by nurses, it will be shared with nurses, their employers and health employers, among others in the health-care system.

"Long hours and heavy workloads, to name a few, lead to burnout and dissatisfaction and contribute to nurses leaving the profession," Terri Irwin, chief nursing executive at Trillium Health Partners, said during a press conference Monday at Trillium Health Partners' Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ont. "That is why it is so important that nurses feel valued, supported and empowered to thrive ... By investing in nursing retention, we create a healthier, sustainable and more fulfilling work environment for nurses, which ultimately improves care for patients."

The plan is part of the government's investment of more than $200 billion over 10 years to improve health care for Canadians.

The toolkit addresses issues such as flexible and balanced ways of working, organizational mental health and wellness supports, professional development and mentorship, and reduced administrative burden.

Are you a doctor, nurse or health-care professional who has weighed leaving Canada? If you did leave, why did you decide to make the move? How could Canada improve its system to entice more health-care professionals to stay in Canada?

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