Ontario Hiring 225 Additional Nurse Practitioners in the Long-Term Care Sector
ETOBICOKE — The Ontario government is investing $57.6 million over the next three years to recruit and retain up to 225 additional nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector through the new Hiring More Nurse Practitioners (HMNP) for Long-Term Care program.
“Today’s investment supports our plan to bolster staffing in long-term care and continue to address the need for more health care capacity across the sector,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Recruiting and retaining more nurse practitioners will not only improve health outcomes for our residents but also provide opportunities for growth and learning for staff within long-term care homes.”
Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses who have an advanced university education and who may work in the long-term care sector as part of a health care team that develops, implements, and evaluates residents’ care plans. They also provide leadership and mentorship to other staff, enhancing their knowledge and ability to care for residents. As part of the program, long-term care homes can request funding for eligible employment expenses - including salary, benefits, and overhead costs - for newly hired nurse practitioners. The funding also provides up to $5,000 in relocation support for nurse practitioners who are hired to work full-time in rural communities and who have agreed to provide a minimum of 12 months of service.
The HMNP initiative was announced as part of the Fall Economic Statement in 2021 and also highlighted in the government’s Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability & Recovery, released on August 18, 2022. This investment also supports the government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, which was launched in 2020 and sets out actions to educate, train and help recruit tens of thousands of new health care staff through partnerships with professional associations, long-term care homes, and education and training providers, so that homes can provide an average of four hours of direct care per day to residents.
To strengthen long-term care and alternate levels of care, Ontario has invested $175.2 million to expand home care services and $117 million for sustainability of home care services, and $1 million to inter-facility transfer of medically stable patients in Northern Ontario.
For 2022-23, the Ministry of Long-Term Care is funding the enrollment of 38 additional students into the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHCNP) program, starting in September 2022. The PHCNP is an advanced nursing education program offered through a partnership between nine Ontario universities and the Ministry of Health.
In December 2020, the Province launched A Better Place to Live, A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan. At the centre of this plan, the hours of direct care for residents provided by registered nurses (RNs), registered practical nurses (RPNs), and personal support workers (PSWs) will be increasing to a provincial average of four hours per resident, per day by March 2025.
The Long-Term Care Staffing Plan also responds to recommendations from Justice Gillese’s Public Inquiry Report on the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System, the Long-Term Care Staffing Study, recommendations from the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, and submissions and reports from long-term care organizations and other partners.
"The investment made by the Ontario government will help improve the province’s long-term care sector, which will create more jobs for health care workers and better conditions for patients. Through this investment, we are able to increase staffing levels and increase the hours of direct care for long-term care residents to an average of four hours per day which will give our LTC residents the care they deserve and need. "
- Christine Hogarth MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore