Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

The Order of Nurses of Quebec issued 730 fewer permits in 2022-2023 than the average for previous years.

Number of new nurses at lowest level in 10 years

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Quebec has 81,136 active nurses.

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  • Davide Gentile (View profile)Davide Gentile

In 2023, the shortage of nurses remained at the heart of the news in the health network. In its latest annual report on the workforce in the profession, the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ) confirms that it has never issued so few new practice permits since 2013 .

In 2022-2023, the OIIQ issued 2,864 new permits, compared to 3,600 on average annually since 2013-2014, with a peak of 4,200 in 2019-2020, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This modest number of permits granted in 2022-2023 comes at a time when needs have never been greater in the network, particularly for relieve emergency room congestion and implement the surgical operations catch-up plan. The Ministry of Health's Dashboard recently assessed the needs of nearly 5,000 nurses.

Improving their remuneration, among the lowest in Canada, was at the top of the list during negotiations with the Union Common Front and the FIQ, in order to retain and attract staff over the coming years. p>

For the president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of the East Island of Montreal, Denis Cloutier, the abnormally high failure rates in the OIIQ admission exams since 2022 explain largely the drop in the number of new permits to practice the nursing profession.

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I hope we haven't lost them and that we'll be able to catch them later, he worries.

Since the arrival of a new exam formula in 2018, the overall success rate had fluctuated between 63% and 96%, including people who had failed the first time. Then, it dropped to 45% in September 2022 and remained below average, at 53%, in March 2023.

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Denis Cloutier, president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of the Eastern Island of Montreal, affiliated with the FIQ. (Archive photo)

According to Denis Cloutier, there needs to be better alignment between universities, CEGEPs and x27;Order on preparation for the exam.

A file closely followed by ministers Sonia LeBel (Treasury Board), Christian Dubé (Health) and Pascale Déry (Higher Education), as well as by the Office of Professions, which forced the OIIQ to review the professional exams. admission.

The failure rate of aspiring nurses in the exam threatens in particular the plans of Quebec, which wishes to recruit nurses abroad to respond to shortages in the health network.

In Minister Lebel's office it is specified that “the OIIQ is collaborating, that the work continues to ensure that the Order stays the course on its action plan and that as many qualified nurses as possible come to lend a helping hand in the health network.”

“At present, the government is making all necessary efforts to make the nursing profession attractive,” we add.

The report of the OIIQ also reports the registration of 1,314 specialized nurse practitioners (IPS) and specialized nurse practitioners on the Order's roll.

This is an increase of 20% in 2022-2023. The number of IPS has more than doubled over the last five years.

This progression should encourage the development of a network of health clinics 'IPS encouraged by the Minister of Health.

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