Media Contacts

Kristy Anderson

Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)


System improvement details

Nurses play a critical role in the health system. The Ministry of Health is setting up a Nursing Policy Secretariat to shape future policy for nursing and nurses will be an important voice in the ministry’s strategic planning work. The secretariat will work with representatives from the nursing community to review opportunities to expand nursing practice in British Columbia and will allow increased nurse engagement in health-care system planning.

Further to the new collective agreement, the Ministry of Health also has committed to investing in broad system improvements in priority areas, with new funding going toward these improvements.

Nurse training in priority areas:

The Ministry of Health and health authorities will fund at least 850 full time-equivalent (FTE) specialty nurse training spaces for 2016-17. They have committed to providing funding based on need through to 2018-19. This funding is in addition to $5 million invested in specialty nurse training in 2015-16 for positions in emergency room, critical care and perinatal nursing. This funding provided for 152 additional training seats, primarily through the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT), covering tuition, books, wages and travel costs.

Supporting the improvement of access to community health-care services and a reduced reliance on hospitals, the ministry and health authorities will also provide $5 million to support nurses seeking to enhance their skills through additional education and training, particularly in high-priority community care areas, such as long-term seniors care and mental illness and substance use treatment.

Workplace violence prevention:

The Ministry of Health and Nurses’ Bargaining Association will each provide $2 million – for a total of $4 million – toward additional violence prevention actions at priority sites throughout B.C. The ministry is also developing a provincial violence prevention framework that will bring consistent and effective violence prevention strategies to all health care work sites.

This builds on the $2 million in joint ministry-BCNU funding provided for the first four priority sites in August 2015. Violence prevention actions at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, Hillside Centre in Kamloops, Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health in Victoria and Abbotsford Regional Hospital are ongoing and include upgrading communications and distress button systems, enhancing staffing levels and creating new positions where needed and increasing education and training.

Rural and remote recruitment and retention:

A joint ministry-health authority-NBA review of rural and remote nursing issues will work to identify immediate and pressing nurse recruitment and retention issues in Northern Health, Interior Health, Island Health and Vancouver Coastal Health. The Ministry of Health will provide $2 million to implement recommendations from the review.

Learn more:

For more information on the Provincial Collective Agreement with nurses, visit: