P.E.I. officials recruit nurses in Dubai to help fill job vacancies
Nurses expected to arrive on Prince Edward Island around the end of the year
As many as 31 new nurses could be heading to Prince Edward Island thanks to an international recruitment mission last month.
Officials with the province's Office of Immigration and Health P.E.I. conducted interviews with dozens of internationally educated nurses in Dubai in March.
The process was "very impactful and very successful," said Rebecca Gill, P.E.I.'s acting director of health recruitment.
"They're excited to come to Prince Edward Island, they're excited to be part of our health-care system and make a difference. It's a very significant effort so I do look forward to them continuing in the future."
The immigration process is underway and arrival dates will vary, but Gill said the majority are expected to land later this year and into early 2024.
Health P.E.I. is currently grappling with a 20 per cent vacancy rate for all types of staff, said Tracy Wolbaum, the agency's executive director of human resources. Ideally, that percentage would be five to seven per cent, she said.
As well, the ratio of full-time workers compared to part-time workers is about 50-50, when there should be seven full-timers for every three part-timers. Wolbaum said part-time workers have helped "tremendously" with the workload, but can't be counted on to agree to take extra shifts the same way they used to.
"I hear from our nurses that they are afraid to pick up a shift because they don't know if they're going to be able to go home when that shift is over — or they're afraid to pick up a shift because they don't know if they're going to come in and there's going to be adequate staffing."
With files from Jane Robertson