First Nations, Métis and Inuit nurses and care providers were celebrated on Wednesday for their hard work and dedication as it was Indigenous Nurses Day in the province.
“Indigenous nurses in Canada not only serve our communities, but also improve on the health-care system, and the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples,” said Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke.
Their contributions to the health and safety of Manitobans during the pandemic especially were acknowledged by the minister.
“To all Indigenous nurses, know that today and every day, we celebrate your dedication, achievements and your commitment to caring for others,” Clarke said in a statement from the province.
David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), also acknowledged Métis nurses’ contribution in a release.
“Through our Métis Education and Training program, along with our bursary and post-secondary education support programs, we are proud to have helped so many Métis nurses gain their education and contribute to the health and well-being of Manitobans,” said Chartrand. “There has never been a better or more important time to recognize and celebrate them than during this pandemic.”
Wednesday was also International Nurses Day. In a release, the federal government acknowledged more supports are needed for internationally trained nurses seeking their foreign credentials.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of reducing the time it takes for them to complete their certification or licensure, in order to meet the health-care system’s urgent need for nurses,” the statement said.
That acknowledgment translates to $2.3 million for three projects that will help nurses put their education and skills to work sooner, said federal Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough.
Those projects are:
• Progress Career Planning Institute received $795,098 to bridge the gap between the requirements for licensed professionals and the existing skills of newcomer nurses to help them successfully transition into the workforce. Nurses will also learn about certification requirements and develop specific skills needed to acquire their licence so they can take up jobs.
• Touchstone Institute received $799,014 to support internationally trained nurses with an online self-assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence writing assistance technology for diagnosis and feedback. Nurses will be able to use this tool as well as online modules to meet the requirement for official certification.
• McMaster University received $799,989 to support internationally trained nurses through skills upgrading and individual employment supports, including access to job postings and referrals to employers with available jobs. Employers will also benefit from the project by being equipped with tools to help them hire more internationally trained nurses.
More than 25,000 nurses immigrated to Canada in the last 10 years, while internationally educated nurses represent 8.9 per cent of Canada’s regulated nursing supply, the release said.
»The Brandon Sun