On October 24, British Columbians will be heading to the polls to elect a new provincial government. BCNU is proud to support members that actively volunteer their time to advocate for what matters most to our nurses and our patients.
BCNU President Christine Sorensen sent letters to all party leaders, asking that they respond to the union’s key asks ahead of the upcoming election. Below, listed in alphabetical order, are the responses received from the BC Green Party, BC Liberal Party, and BC NDP.
Please click on each of the party logos to review the responses received.
Take immediate actions to develop a health human resources plan that includes licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, which is necessary to address the looming nursing shortage. The BC government's own 2018 BC Labour Market Outlook stated the need for 25,000 nurses by the year 2030. Government needs to invest in training, education, and recruitment strategies necessary to ensure our hospitals, home and community care services are staffed with enough licensed and specialty-educated nurses to deliver safe, quality care.
Immediate access to nurse-specific mental health supports that will address the 10 percent increase in the levels of moderate to severe anxiety and depression experienced by our point-of-care nurses from stress placed on them due to the pandemic (comparing survey results December 2019 to June 2020).
An effective seniors' strategy that includes long-term care facilities which are properly staffed, reflecting an appropriate skill mix that includes RNs and LPNs in order to best protect health care workers and the residents they care for.
Address the need for long-term investments in mental health and substance use care to build a system where nurses feel supported and those vulnerable are protected from the current provincial overdose crisis.
Work with the BC Nurses' Union and point-of-care nurses we represent to address the increased workload due to new government initiatives (hospital-at-home program, expansion of nurses' scope of practice in response to the overdose crisis, surgical renewal plan) and urgently develop appropriate staffing strategies to protect nurses from burnout and exhaustion.
Allow for nurses to have unfettered access to the highest level of personal protective equipment they deem necessary to keep themselves and their patients safe. Government needs to continue its commitment to procure high-quality PPE to meet the current and anticipated future needs of nurses.
Address the ongoing issue of violence in health care by following through on commitments that will keep our nurses and patients safe. Hire properly trained professional security officers (PSOs) and develop guidelines that incorporate their expertise alongside health care teams, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Provide more youth-focused psychiatric and addiction-related resources to improve harm reduction capacity, public detox and rehabilitation services, and better backup and relief for point-of-care nurses including registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and licensed practical nurses working to address the overdose crisis.
Employers need to engage with the union and their employees to align employment options with individual capabilities when it comes to accommodation. Accommodation needs of nurses including those pregnant and immune-compromised must be considered now, in order to maximize our workforce in this challenging time. Nurses need to be trusted when they assess that their health is in a position of risk and provided the support to restructure their work or work environment so that, where possible, they can continue to provide valuable health services and keep themselves well.
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