McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Global nursing shortage examined at conference

Published: October 25 , 2006

With an unprecedented shortage of nurses expected in the future, health human resource planning is critical. The questions include the reasons for few internationally trained nurses and new graduates being hired full-time, how nurses may be encouraged to remain in the workforce and how to ensure there are enough nurses in emergencies.

These issues are among the topics to be explored at the 5th International Nursing Conference that started today and continues through Friday at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

More than 325 nurses from around the world are expected to attend the conference entitled Practice to Policy: Global Perspectives in Nursing, organized by the joint Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU) at McMaster University and the University of Toronto.

The conference is part of the research group’s mandate to produce and share knowledge on all aspects of the nursing profession. In the past year, the NHSRU has produced reports and publications on concerns such as nurse migration, retention, graduate employment and nurse-physician relations.

Key conference speakers include Jean Yan, chief scientist in nursing and midwifery for the World Health Organization; Mireille Kingma, author on migration and nurse consultant with the International Council of Nurses; and Sue Matthews, chief nursing officer for Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The conference’s closing keynote address will be given by Rex Murphy, host of CBC’s weekly radio broadcast Cross Country Checkup, who will take a passionate look at the stress and challenges facing healthcare practitioners and researchers.

Speakers from around the world, including those from Lebanon, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada, will address the three day conference. The topics will be as diverse as initiatives to retain practising nurses, job satisfaction, workload and knowledge transfer (the rapid transmission of research findings to policy makers) workplace injuries and the experiences of African Canadian nurses.

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