Almost two dozen nurses are being laid off next month in Edmonton, with the nurses' union saying 180 more job cuts may be on the way.
19 nurses working at the Good Samaritan Gerald Zetter centre in Edmonton will lose their jobs at the end of March.
A second wave of layoffs - another 180 positions - is expected in May.
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees spokesman Mark Wells says they were expecting cuts, but were surprised by the number.
"We were not given an indication that it would result in staffing changes that are this drastic," he said.
"We know that they've increased funding for private care facilities and it seems that public and not-for-profit care facilities are having quite severe funding clawbacks by Alberta Health Services right now."
Wells says much of the daily care at seniors’ centres is done by LPNs and health care aides.
"I think it's gotta be immensely worrying - familiar faces that they counted on every day are no longer there. That doesn't come across in a balance sheet but that definitely has an effect."
The cuts are part of a new funding plan for continuing care centres in the province.