Jun 23, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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The number of nurses in Canada has dropped for the first time in 20 years – according to a new report from The Canadian Institute For Health Information.

And that has two major nursing organizations warning the country needs to do a better job.. of managing the supply of health care workers.

The CIHI report found that in 2014 more nurses left the profession than entered it – a drop of 0.3 percent from the previous year.

And the supply of registered nurses – the most common category – fell 1 percent.

In Canada, the term “supply” refers to the number of people holding active licenses with the provincial bodies that regulate the nursing profession.

Last year, the College of Nurses of Ontario brought in a new rule – that effectively bars members from renewing licenses – unless they have practiced nursing in the province in the past three years.

That contributed to an unusually high number of nurses formally leaving the profession – almost 16,000 in one year.

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