Northern Health Recruitment and Retention- Planning for the Future
Prince George, B.C.-Northern Health is facing the same labour challenges as every other sector in the country as the bulk of the baby boom generation makes plans for retirement.
Recruitment and retention for Northern Health has been an ongoing challenge, but a detailed study on the future needs of communities and facilities is helping in the development of a plan to stay ahead of the curve.
Northern Health has more than 7 thousand employees throughout its region, and 52% of that labour force works within the Northern Interior Delivery Area, which includes Prince George.
The planning to ensure Northern Health has the people it needs to provide the services it offers, included an examination of each and every unit operating within Northern Health. That focus gave Northern Health a better understanding of the age groups of current employees and the employee’s plans. “That’s critical so we can plan specifically, because in each community we have to take a somewhat different approach” says Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich. “I think the other piece that has been very helpful to us, and will continue to be in the future, is the partnership we have with the educational institutions. Northwest Community College, CNC, Northern Lights and UNBC and the work they’ve been doing to take students and train them in health professions so that we have a continual supply in the North. That has made a huge difference for us in the nursing area, medical imaging and lab for example.”
That partnership is part of a “Grow Your Own Strategy” that starts with planting seeds of opportunities in health care careers with junior and high school students. Such a session was held just last week in Fort St. John.
Studies aside, Northern Health is also active in getting the word out through a number of venues including:
• Queens University Career Fair (Ontario) – March 3 – 4, 2017
• UNBC Northworks (Prince George) – March 8, 2017
• CNC Northworks (Prince George – March 9, 2017
• Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada Conference (Niagara Falls) – April 30 – May 4, 2017
• National Emergency Nurses Association Conference (Prince Edward Island) – June 2 – 4, 2017
• Nurse Practitioners Conference (Vancouver Island ) – June 1 – 3, 2017
The planning will make Northern Health more proactive than reactive when it comes to making sure it has the people it needs as the population ages and demands for health services increase.