The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is launching a study to investigate the rising use of agency nurses across Canada and its implications on the health care system.

In a press release sent out on Sept. 14, CFNU President Linda Silas stated that it is “alarming” how little we know about these agencies, including how many there are, how many public dollars are going to them, and what the impact is on patient care.

CFNU is partnering with Queen’s University on a Research Agreement to conduct this mixed methods study. It’s being led by Dr. Joan Almost, a registered nurse and professor, whose research area of expertise includes the working environment of nurses and health care quality.

Dr. Almost will conduct the study with a team of researchers to provide insight into:

  • the number of private nursing agencies in Canada;
  • the number of agency nurses being utilized;
  • the average rate of pay for agency nurses;
  • the total dollars spent by provincial and territorial governments on agency nurses;
  • the total number of hours worked by agency nurses;
  • where and how agency nurses are being used;
  • key policy recommendations.

In the coming months, the CFNU will publish a report based on the study’s findings with key policy recommendations for provincial, territorial and federal governments. To learn more, please click this link.