If 37 nurses walked in the door at the Swan Valley Hospital they would all find jobs immediately. That is how short the area is on nurses.
On Tuesday stakeholders met to discuss options for training more nurses for the area. It wasn’t all good news.
The meeting was told that of 62 LPN positions, 28 are vacant. Of 61 RN/BN positions, 9 are vacant.
There is a bit of relief in sight – this June 11 people are expected to graduate from the local LPN training program. It is expected 10 of those people will stay in the Swan Valley while one is moving to the The Pas.
The program is currently accepting applications for 20 more training spots. So far almost 50 people have applied to take the training. But, it will be two years before those new students complete their training.
The meeting discussed the idea of beginning a second training program that would allow LPNs to upgrade to BNs. While some participants were in favor of the training others suggested that it would be best to focus on simply training more LPNs. A representative from the Manitoba Government would not comment on whether the province would provide funding for additional training.
Meanwhile the meeting also heard that the current LPN training program is actually the old RN training program. At one time an LPN or licensed practical nurse only needed a ten month training program. Now, they train for two years. But as a result they are able to perform more duties in healthcare.