make health care the heart of the fEderal budget.

As we approach the next federal budget, we need your help to advocate for a stronger public health care system in our country. Nurses are stretched beyond their limits, with burnout rates soaring to historic highs and many leaving the profession entirely. Canada’s frontline nurses have given the federal government solutions to address the most pressing challenges facing our health care system. We need your help to make sure they listen. The federal budget is a key opportunity to better support nurses and health care workers.

What's at stake?

Our health care system hinges on the well-being of our nurses and health care workers. They are the backbone of the system in Canada. If we continue to overlook their working conditions, we risk not only their welfare but also the quality of care our system provides. There have been countless stories in the news where health care workers are stretched so thin that it is humanly impossible for them to provide attentive care we all rely on. It’s not just about longer wait times; it’s about the quality of care in our health care system taking a nosedive, leaving patients feeling neglected when they need support the most. If we fail to address these working conditions, we risk a mass exodus from the nursing profession, exacerbating the current shortages and putting patient care at risk.

Quick Facts

1 in 3

nurses are dissatisfied with their career choice.

4 in 10

nurses are on the brink of leaving their jobs, retiring or exiting the profession entirely.

7 in 10

nurses cite staffing and workload as the main reasons driving their potential exit from the profession.

What investments need to be in the next federal budget?

Canada’s nurses have handed the federal government steps it can take in the next federal budget to solve the health care crisis by improving working conditions for its workers.


Support Health Canada’s Nursing Retention Toolkit

Health Canada recently released its Nursing Retention Toolkit, which would help improve working conditions and educational support to retain and recruit more nurses into the field. The federal government needs to continue supporting the provinces and territories to put the toolkit into practice.


Improve Mental Health Support

Mental health challenges are a major factor driving nurses and health care workers out of their professions. A cognitive behavioural therapy program tailored to nurses would provide them with help they need to navigate challenging times on the job.


Mandate Safe Hours of Work

Nurses need a break from endless overtime. In the short term, fatigue impairs cognitive and physical abilities, and it also poses long-term health issues like heart disease and diabetes for the nurses. Mandating safe hours of work would protect the health of our nurses and the quality of care they can deliver.

The risk of safety incidents increases exponentially after the eighth consecutive hour of work a nurse works. By the twelfth hour, the risk of incidents doubles, and by the sixteenth hour, it can be as high as threefold, according to a recent report by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.


Phase Out Agency Nursing

For-profit health care staffing agencies charge up to six times the hourly rate of a regular nurse, pushing health care budgets to the brink. By reducing our reliance on agency nurses, we can free up funding to invest in retaining and hiring more nurses inside our public health care system.


Create a Nurse Retention Tax Credit

A tax benefit for nurses would encourage them to stay on the job and rejoin the workforce, while also recognizing their immense contribution to the health care system.


See the latest stories on how poor staffing levels are harming our public health care system.

what else can be done?

Sustaining Nursing in Canada proposes a set of concrete actionable solutions to help meaningfully solve the health care staffing crisis.

This report details how governments’ poor planning and failure to address the systemic challenges facing nurses created today’s crisis and the impact on nurses, patients and the health system.

Nurses are at the heart of the solutions recommended in this report:

  • Retaining experienced nurses to ensure the highest quality of care
  • Returning nurses who have left to bolster an ailing workforce
  • Recruiting and training the nurses of tomorrow to meet future needs
Read the full Report