Playing catch up with B.C.'s Nursing shortage

By Jessica Lepp
December 9, 2015 - 4:38pm Updated: December 10, 2015 - 3:46pm

KAMLOOPS — B.C. is playing catch up when it comes to meeting the demand for trained Nurses in this province.

As opposed to the 1990's, there is double the number of Nurses graduating from University and post secondary programs.

Much like the current shortage of physicians in B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake says health authorities are recruiting Nurses from out of province and out of country. 

"We are looking in the UK for instance, for Nurses that may want to locate here in B.C. as we do with physicians because we know we have an aging population," said Lake. 

Lake adds the shortage varies from hospital to hospital, and while he could not give a solid figure at Royal Inland Hospital, he says it's something his ministry is working on with local health authorities.

Opening up new seats in the TRU Nursing program is also a possibility.

"It's something we'll look at, but we need to look at underutilized space we have in Williams Lake, Prince George, Dawson Creek, other areas of province where there are nursing programs but they're under subscribed," says Lake "It doesn't make sense to put more money into building up programs if we have underutilized space. We need to encourage students to go and use those spaces, because we know we're going to need more nurses and we have the space available." 

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