The Prince Edward Island Nurses' Union is questioning a government strategy that involves cutting nursing jobs.

There are currently 80 provincial nursing jobs vacant in P.E.I.

Shortages have been an ongoing problem.

"It's very disheartening, I deal with it every day," said Brenda Worth, director of nursing at the Prince County Hospital. "My teams deal with it every day, every shift we're looking for nurses."

The province hopes a new staffing model of care will help.

The government is hiring other workers, such as licensed practical nurses, to take on some nursing duties.

Recently, Queen Elizabeth Hospital lost 12 nursing positions in Unit 3.

Staff was moved elsewhere.

"It's just ridiculous really to be deleting RN positions," said Mona O'Shea, president of the P.E.I. Nurses' Union.

Last week the province reposted nursing jobs in that same unit.

"The government posted three full-time temporary jobs on Unit 3. It shows us that it's not working there," said O'Shea.

Government officials said the jobs were posted because officials realized more registered nurses were needed.

O'Shea believes the new strategy is poorly planned and not working.

She also said nurses aren't getting the information they need.

"We're learning. It's a new process, it's a journey that we're on," said Pam Trainor, executive director of corporate development and innovation for Health P.E.I. "We're trying to do the best we can, we're trying to respond where there are challenges in the unit."

Health P.E.I. is promising better communication with nurses.