Managing and sustaining an ageing nursing workforce: identifying opportunities and best practices within collective agreements in Canada

Kwok, Cara, Bates, Kimberly A., and Ng, Eddy S. (2016) Managing and sustaining an ageing nursing workforce: identifying opportunities and best practices within collective agreements in Canada. Journal of Nursing Management, 24 (4). pp. 500-511.

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Abstract

Aim: This paper seeks to identify gaps within nursing collective agreements for opportunities to implement practices to sustain the nursing workforce.

Background: Since the majority of nurses in Canada are unionised, some of the strategies recommended in the literature to cope with nursing shortage may not apply to unionised nurses, making collective agreements a potential source for designing practices that can mitigate the impact of ageing nurses.

Method: Nine major collective agreements for registered nurses in each province governing the nursing employment relationship were analysed to see if different practices were already addressed in the collective agreements.

Results: Five such practices were identified, including: providing more mentorship opportunities; encouraging nurses who are eligible to retire to remain in the nursing workforce; attracting internationally trained nurses; implementing operational changes that include process improvements or new technologies; and empowering nurses through flexibility in work schedules.

Conclusion: If collective agreements are silent in any of the strategies identified in the literature, health-care organisations can adopt these practices without violating the collective agreements.

Implications for nursing management: Non-unionised health-care organisations can also benefit from learning about these policies and practices to assist in managing and sustaining an ageing nursing workforce.

Item ID: 57768
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2834
Keywords: ageing nurses, best practices, Canada, collective agreements, recruitment, retention, unions
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 11:07
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management @ 100%
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