The Premiers of Canada’s provinces and territories met in Halifax, N.S., on November 5 and 6 to discuss a wide variety of issues, including healthcare.

Only a couple days before their meeting was set to begin, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) issued a public letter calling on the need for these leaders to take urgent, bold and comprehensive action to address the nursing shortage crisis.

Here is an excerpt:

We call on you to urgently finalize your province’s action plan, detailing the initiatives you will implement in support of nurses as part of the bilateral agreement you signed with the federal government early this year.

The retention of nurses must be prioritized in the action plan, as well as investments in recruitment from within our population. Siphoning human resources from underprivileged countries – which are experiencing their own staffing shortages – is not a sustainable, adequate or ethical solution to the crisis we find ourselves in.

Nurses’ unions remain committed to working closely with all provincial governments to help plan and implement leading practices and initiatives to address the punishing workloads of our members.

To read the letter in its entirety, which includes seven swift actions that provinces could take, please click this link.

Following this meeting between the Premiers of the provinces and territories, CFNU issued a press release encouraging them to “stay focused on solving the nationwide nursing shortage.”

CFNU President Linda Silas stated that “while it is positive that premiers discussed best practices across the provinces and territories, we must move from conversations to concrete action. Nurses have repeatedly shared leading retention, return and recruitment initiatives with premiers and health ministers that can be readily acted upon. We need to see less talk and more action that matches the urgency of the crisis facing our country.”

The CFNU is calling on provinces and territories to improve health care working conditions and implement key evidence-based initiatives that would improve nurse retention, create sustainable recruitment, and ultimately put an end to the years-long shortage of nurses across the country.

Click this link to read the full press release.