Nova Scotia

IWK starts nursing hiring boom

The IWK Health Centre is hiring 80 registered nurses after a three per cent cut to its budget last spring

Children's hospital is creating 80 nursing positions

The IWK Health Centre is hiring 80 registered nurses after a three per cent cut to its budget last spring.

Managers at the IWK said they delayed hiring full-time nurses until their business plan was approved by the provincial health department.

"We got to a point where we really needed to make those positions permanent as our business plan was approved," said IWK CEO Anne McGuire.

"It so happened that there were about 70, 80 positions that we needed to post."

Now temporary positions are turning into permanent ones and competition for those jobs are underway.

Temporary nurses are currently filling about 70 of those positions. The hospital is also opening 10 floater positions so nurses can move around the hospital where they're needed most.

The jobs are open to all qualified registered nurses, like Tassia Migas, a recent nursing graduate

"I was so excited I've never seen that many [openings] in one hospital ever, let alone the best children's hospital around. It's amazing," said Migas.

She said she has been applying for jobs since February.

Migas will be competing against nurses who are already doing the jobs. Regardless, she says every nursing graduate she knows is applying.

"It's a huge amount of positions. For pretty much every floor that I saw they were posting more than one position."

Cara Devarennes is one of the temporary nurses at the IWK hoping for a permanent position.

"I know myself I was not feeling very hopeful getting into the IWK right away. We just started working on our resumes right away and getting them in as fast as we could when we saw these job openings," she said.

"I'm hoping that, for myself and a lot of the other girls, we can get in and hopefully stay in."

The children's hospital is also creating eight positions in the mental health unit after laying off 11 workers in spring.

McGuire says there's been lots of interest in the jobs so far.

Applications are due by Aug. 6.