Manitoba Daily

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Under a new employment initiative, nursing students will be placed in Manitoba hospitals

Key takeaways:

  • Manitoba is concentrating on nursing students to reduce future hospital staffing shortages.
  • Although the UNE programme is new to Manitoba, it is already in place in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. 

Manitoba is focusing on nursing students in the hopes of alleviating hospital staffing shortages in the future.

According to Health Minister Audrey Gordon, nursing students in their 3rd and 4th years will soon join in-patient care teams in surgery, medical, and mental health units. In addition, he announced the undergraduate nursing employee programme on Monday.

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“In the last two years, the services of Manitoba nurses — and all nurses — have never been more needed,” she said.

“We know that the pandemic has put huge pressure on nurses and that we need to keep adding to this vital workforce. We need to beef up our nurse complement, and I believe this is a great place to start.”

Although the UNE programme is new to Manitoba, it is already in place in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. It allows senior nursing students to work in their chosen field before graduating, under the supervision and instruction of a registered nurse or licenced psychiatric nurse.

“Through this project, our future nurses will receive real clinical experience and form meaningful ties with care teams across our province,” Gordon said.

According to Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Manitoba Shared Health, the programme will begin with a little over 60 students across the province. Still, it has the potential to grow to more than 500.

“We want to catch things slowly at first. We want to make sure we’re evaluating as we go and that both the supervisors and the students are having a lovely time so that it’s a success, “she stated

By the end of the year, the first students should be on their clinical placements. After that, according to Siragusa, regular evaluations will allow the number of nursing students to increase over time progressively.

Nursing students head into Manitoba hospitals under new employment program

She noted that students would only be put in units with steady personnel levels to ensure their success.

They won’t solve current staffing gaps in the short term, but Gordon hopes they will become permanent employees and address the problem in the long run.

Nursing students must be enrolled in an accredited nursing programme leading to an RN or RPN licensure to apply. According to Siragusa, they must also have completed a clinical placement in that specific area of care – medical, surgical, or mental health — and have a minimum of 450 hours of clinical experience.

According to Siragusa, the roles pay $27 an hour and include casual evening, day, and weekend shifts, with the possibility of full-time hours during the summer and winter vacations.

Siragusa explained, “It’s paid job [and] experience while they finish their courses.” “This will aid students in gaining a better knowledge of how to work within the profession and with clinical teams.”

UNEs are also members of the Manitoba Nurses Union, which means that their work hours count toward their seniority, “providing them an early advantage when they graduate and start seeking a job in the health system,” according to Siragusa.

“As nursing students, we study in the classroom, in the skills lab, in clinical placements, and our practicums,” Siragusa explained.

“However, nothing compares to the experience of working as a team on a unit with patients.”

Source: CBC News

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