Northern Health Recruits Almost all of UNBC’s 2004 Graduating Class in Nursing

Northern Health has successfully recruited 33 of 38 soon-to-graduate registered nurses from the University of Northern British Columbia to positions within the health region. These new nurses will assume full-time jobs in acute care sites, mental health and addictions settings, and public health units in Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Vanderhoof, Quesnel and Prince George.

?We are pleased with recent progress in attracting nurses who have been trained in the north,? said Malcolm Maxwell, Northern Health CEO. ?We are fortunate to have strong working relationships with post-secondary institutions across the region as we develop made-in-the-north solutions to our human resource needs.?

Recruitment of these new nurses from UNBC is a significant step in Northern Health?s long-term approach to attract and retain health professionals. It?s an important development, given strong competition in nursing recruitment from health providers worldwide.

Surveys of UNBC alumni have also shown that graduates from the university?s health professions programs (including nursing) continue to live and work in the North at a rate higher than graduates of other UNBC programs. These surveys bode well for the predicted success of the Northern Medical Program in retaining physicians for the North.

?We are proud to see UNBC students apply their skills and education in the region in which they studied,? said Dr. Charles Jago, UNBC President. ?In working closely with organizations such as Northern Health, we can provide academic services relevant to the needs of northern communities.?

?We?re pleased to see such a strong result from the co-operative efforts of both UNBC and Northern Health in training and employing new health care providers to serve communities across the North,? said Shirley Bond, Minister of Advanced Education. ?This clearly demonstrates the benefit of training health professionals here in the North.?

Northern Health will continue to study and implement recruitment and retention initiatives, so enough new personnel will be available to offset expected retirements over the next decade. This includes forming a dedicated nursing recruitment team to address specific needs across the entire region.

?We estimate that about half of our current 1,600 registered nurses will be eligible to retire within the next ten years,? said Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health?s Chief Nursing Officer. ?By acting now, we will have better success in retaining the nursing staff we need in the years to come.?