Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, has issued the following statement in recognition of National Nursing Week, May 9-15, and National Nursing Day, May 12, 2022:
“National Nursing Week and National Nursing Day provide excellent opportunities for British Columbians and people across the country to acknowledge and recognize the value and importance of all nurses, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and nurse practitioners. They are the largest group of care providers in British Columbia, and they play an important part in providing care in our public health system.
“Our government values all that nurses do to protect, promote and support the safety, health and well-being of people in B.C. The past two years have been especially challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug crisis and extreme weather events have called for extraordinary care, and nurses provincewide have consistently answered the call, in service to all British Columbians.
“Government acknowledges the significant toll this has had on the nursing workforce. That’s why we are dedicated to actions that grow, retain and support nurses in the province. On April 19, 2022, government announced new supports for internationally educated nurses. These new supports include the consolidation of the provincially based assessment processes for internationally educated nurse candidates, approximately $9 million in bursaries to help with assessment fees and new nurse navigator positions to guide candidates through the assessment and licensing processes.
“Additionally, on Feb. 20, 2022, government announced that 602 new nursing seats are being added to public post-secondary institutions throughout the province. We have also worked with community partners to deliver new and expanded mental-health services to support nurses dealing with the burden of responding to increased demands.
“Our government is committed to ensuring nurses have the support they need to continue to care for people provincewide. Through these commitments, we’re not only expanding the future nursing capacity in the province, but creating pathways to incredibly rewarding, long-term and family-supporting careers.
“On behalf of the provincial government, I thank the nurses who provide and continue to provide the best care possible for their patients. And I encourage people everywhere in the province to take a moment this week to recognize what all nurses have done and continue to do for us all.”