Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

BC Nurses’ Union


Supporting nurses, better caring for patients
Updated April 4, 2023, for clarification

New nurse-to-patient ratios – $750 million over three years:

  • The new model will be consistent with the following principles:
    • builds on actions within the Provincial Health Human Resources Strategy;
    • aligns with ongoing work to advance effective team-based models of care;
    • uses continuous improvement approaches to transfer knowledge quickly; 
    • includes licensed practical nurses’, registered psychiatric nurses’ and registered nurses’ designations; and
    • will be implemented across all sectors of care, including hospital, community and long-term care.

Other supports to nurses as part of the tentative agreement

  • The Province is also investing ongoing funding of $108.6 million to support the career development of nurses, as part of B.C.’s Health Human Resources Strategy, including:
    • new clinical mentorship positions – supports institutional memory retention by enabling knowledge transfer to new entrants and workforce flexibility.
    • preceptorship premiums – employ teaching and learning method using nurses as clinical role models.
    • funding that will support the expansion of point of care nursing.
    • earn and learn – to reduce financial and other barriers to full-time training and enhance the retention of nurses by offering viable career and growth opportunities. This funding will expand the Employed Student Nurse program so more nursing students have access to employment opportunities while they are in school.
    • retention incentive – the development of a retention incentive for nurses based on years of service for nurses in later stages of their careers.
  • Additionally, the Province is providing $100 million in one-time funding to support nurses in their well-being and day-to-day operations.
    • Career laddering - Career laddering opportunities allow experienced nurses and health-care workers to remain within and advance their careers with the publicly funded health workforce, improving retention and workplace satisfaction over the longer term. This fund will sponsor mid-career nurses who want to advance from licensed practical nurses to registered nurses and from licensed practical nurses to registered psychiatric nurses.
    • Nurse support fund -
      • The Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) will create a fund that supports the well-being of nurses.
      • The BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) will administer the fund and assume all administrative costs associated with it.
      • The fund will expand:
        • mental-health supports for nurses who hit ceiling in existing benefits plan.
        • hardship supports for members who have exhausted for when a member has exhausted Employment Insurance, Long-Term Disability and other programs.
        • hardship supports for students in financial crisis.
    • Nurse-to-patient ratio initiative – Support the NBA project management, administration and work related to implementing nurse-to-patient ratios.
    • Marketing and recruiting campaigns – The Ministry of Health and BCNU will partner on a marketing campaign and recruitment strategy to promote nursing careers in B.C.