National Nursing Week, May 7 to 13, 2012
EDMONTON, May 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Registered nurses form the largest group of health professionals working in our health system but there is often a lack of awareness about the full contribution they make now, and can make, to our health in the future. National Nursing Week, May 7 to 13, is an opportunity to dispel some myths about registered nurses and nurse practitioners, according to the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).
"Our health-care system has been evolving in response to new technologies, scientific knowledge and system pressures and, as a result, the role of the registered nurse has become even more complex and significant," says CARNA president, Dianne Dyer. "Albertans are often unaware of the many independent decisions registered nurses are educated to make with respect to complex patient care, coordination of care, chronic disease management and promoting health and wellness. Greater involvement of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in primary care and system decisions will improve access to services, help reduce pressures on our acute and community care systems and improve population health."
As of September 30, 2011, there were 33,456 registered nurses in Alberta including 330 nurse practitioners. Registered nurses have the knowledge and skill to provide direct care for the most acutely ill, complex patients. Increasingly, registered nurses are also working in collaborative health teams to provide primary care in settings such as primary care networks and family care clinics. Evidence shows that in health systems with a strong primary health-care focus, overall health-care costs are lower and outcomes are better. Expected outcomes include focusing on preventing health problems and catching them earlier when they do occur; encouraging more appropriate use of community resources; improved care coordination and case management; and improving chronic disease management.
"Registered nurses and nurse practitioners have particularly valuable roles to play with respect to chronic disease management," says CARNA CEO Mary-Anne Robinson. "According to the Health Quality Council of Alberta (2009), 30 per cent of Alberta patients have chronic illness and are responsible for 60 percent of health-care costs. It is critical to provide more effective supports to help these individuals manage their health conditions in their community."
In 1971, the International Council of Nurses designated May 12 (Florence Nightingale's birthday) as International Nurses Day. In 1985, in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nursing Week in Canada.
See fact sheet about Alberta's registered nurses.
NATIONAL NURSING WEEK - May 7 to 13, 2012
REGISTERED NURSES IN ALBERTA
- There are 33,456 registered nurses in Alberta, including 330 nurse practitioners
- Age of registered nurses
|51 years or older||33 per cent|
|41 - 50 years||24 per cent|
|31 - 40 years||24 per cent|
|30 years and under||19 per cent|
- 11 per cent or 3,583 registered nurses age 51 or older report a projected retirement date in the next five years (2012 to 2016)
- 37 per cent of registered nurses work full-time; 43 per cent work part-time and 15 per cent work on a casual basis. The remainder are employed in other industries, are not employed or are on leave.
- Where RNs work
|Place of employment||Per cent|
|Hospitals||58 per cent|
|Nursing homes/long term care||7 per cent|
|Community health agency||6 per cent|
|Other||29 per cent|
- In the past practice year, there was a noticeable increase in the number of permits issued to registered nurses moving to Alberta from other Canadian provinces/territories. The number increased from 277 in 2010 to 392 in 2011. Most of these applicants came from British Columbia (110), Saskatchewan (33) and Manitoba (30).
- The number of permits issued to applicants from outside of Canada dropped significantly from 317 in 2010 to 181 in 2011.
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