FREDERICTON (GNB) – More than 170 nurses have been hired under an incentive program designed to attract newly registered nurses for jobs that are hard to fill. The initiative was launched last spring.

Newly registered nurses can receive up to $10,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment in either full or part time jobs that are hard to fill with either of the two regional health authorities or with Extra-Mural/Ambulance NB Inc. Hard to fill jobs include those which have been posted internally and externally by the employer with no successful candidates.

“It takes a special person to choose nursing as a profession, and those unique individuals are in short supply,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Around the world, health systems are struggling with workforce shortages made worse by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet our aging population requires more health services than ever before.”

“This incentive program is designed to help ease the burden on other nurses in these locations while improving patient care,” she said.

The incentive program aligns with the Provincial Health Plan which recognizes that the province must be innovative in the recruitment and training of health professionals to ensure sufficient staff to provide care now and in the future.

The program is based on an agreement between the provincial government and the New Brunswick Nurses Union.

“This incentive program for hard-to-recruit areas is similar to a program offered in the mid-2000s when we were faced with a number of vacancies throughout the province,” said Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union. “Any initiative to ensure our New Brunswick nursing graduates choose jobs in New Brunswick is a positive step in the right direction.”

More information about the program, including eligibility, is available online.