Study shows wide-ranging dissatisfaction among nurses

Five-country study backs up what Canada's nurses have been saying all along: conditions are poor and we're not taking it any more

Canadian nurses aren’t the only ones complaining about their jobs and work environment. A study of 43,000 registered nurses in five countries shows that dissatisfaction in the nursing profession is wide-ranging and not confined to North America.

Nurses were asked whether they were dissatisfied. A significant number of them said yes:

United States: 41%
Scotland: 38%
England: 36%
Canada: 33%
Germany: 17%

In spite of fundamental differences in health-care systems, the results are strikingly similar. Nurses say they don’t have enough resources to do their jobs properly and provide good patient care.

More than 17,000 nurses in Canada from Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta took part in the survey. It will be published in the May/June issue of the policy journal Health Affairs.

Nurses in Ontario and B.C. are currently working to rule, refusing to do overtime, skip breaks or stay past their shifts, to protest their working conditions. There is a nursing shortage in this country and many Canadian nurses are moving to the U.S. in search of better conditions.

According to the study, more than 16 per cent of nurses in Canada say they plan to leave their job within 12 months. When asked of nurses under the age of 30, that number jumps to nearly 30 per cent.

Nurses say they need higher wages and better opportunities for growth and education.

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