BCNU Calls New Care Model a Significant Investment in Nurses and Patients

April 04, 2023
Includes funding for minimum nurse-patient ratios, nurse recruitment and retention

It’s an investment BC’s nursing workforce has waited years for.

The BC Nurses’ Union says a new, transformative staffing model will drastically support nurses and improve patient care across the province. The joint effort between BCNU, the Nurses’ Bargaining Association and the Province will include the implementation of minimum nurse-patient ratios, a national and international recruitment strategy, expanded mental wellness and education supports for nurses.

“This is a historic investment and will make BC the best place in the country to be a nurse,” says BCNU Interim CEO and Lead Negotiator Jim Gould. “When you combine BCNU’s tentative agreement with this commitment to minimum nurse-patient ratios, we will see improvements in nurse recruitment and retention, job satisfaction, workplace safety and work-life balance. We also expect it to reset the relationship between BCNU, the Nurses’ Bargaining Association and the provincial government.”

Today’s announcement will make British Columbia the first in Canada to adopt nurse-patient ratios concurrently across hospital-based care, long-term care and community and non-hospital care settings.

The funding includes $200 million in 2023/2024, $250 million in 2024/2025 and $300 million in 2025/2026. A provincial executive steering committee, comprised of members of the BC Nurses’ Union, Nurses Bargaining Association and Ministry of Health, will oversee the new model and ensure there is accountability on how the funds are spent.

“We believe minimum nurse-patient ratios create safer care, more satisfied nurses and save health-care dollars, as seen in California and Australia where mandated ratios are in place,” says BCNU President Aman Grewal. “For too long, nurses have struggled to provide care as they jump from patient to patient, doing their best to provide care amidst a staffing shortage.”

Over 80 percent of BCNU members polled last year said nurse-patient ratios were a top priority for improving working and practice conditions. Research shows that without mandatory nurse-patient ratios, patient mortality increases, as does nurse occupational injuries and incidents, or missed care.

To set up an interview, please contact BCNU Communications at

If you are NOT receiving updates, news, and events emailed to you, log in to the BCNU Member Portal and update your information.