Nursing Education for Rural and Northern Practice in Canada – Care Example

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"Nursing Education for Rural and Northern Practice in Canada" is a perfect example of a paper on care. Nurses working in rural and remote communities face many challenges in such settings. Therefore, the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in rural communities is often challenging and influence the delivery of care around the world. Canada faces this challenge. Despite Canada’ s increasing urbanization, a large portion of its population lives in rural areas. They make up about 21% to 30% of the Canadian population. However, there is a very small number of health professionals serving these populations.

A study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that only 18% of registered nurses practiced in rural and remote communities (Andrews, Stewart, Morgan & D’ Arcy, 2011). Thus, the need to implement strategies to improve recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals such as nurses in rural and remote communities is indeed vital. Nations should develop reward options that encourage nurses to practice in rural and remote areas. The payment options for nurses should be attractive to encourage them to keep working in these regions. For instance, their salary should include an extra allowance, which reflects the degree of remoteness of their region of operation.

Implementation of other additional incentives is necessary for the realization of effective retention. This could include accommodation allowances or housing provided by the healthcare system, as well as extra leave days. Adjustment to life in rural and remote regions of the country is one of the challenges faced by relocating nurses. They have to adjust to the different geographic, social, cultural, and economic characteristics of the region. Additionally, a comprehensive program specifically for retaining nurses in rural communities is necessary for addressing the issue.

This may entail mentoring programs by experienced workers, which once implemented assist new recruits. It is imperative to educate nurses on the social and cultural practices of the rural communities, which also ensures their retention in such settings. Nursing courses in the country should include training practices in rural and remote areas. Nurses should learn to respect different cultural practices, which ensures competency and safety. One of the ways to ensure this is clinical placement in a rural and remote area in the course of nursing studies.

Placements provide a firsthand experience not provided in the classroom, thus, ensuring the students can appreciate working in such regions (Zimmer et al. , 2014). It is important to have programs that encourage and support rural nursing. Inadequate resources in rural and remote areas encourage nurses to return to urban regions. To retain the nurses and other healthcare workers, thus, suggests that the workplace in rural regions should provide adequate resources that are similar to those in urban settings. Such resources may include up-to-date equipment, reliable information technology, and professional support mechanisms (Sevean, Dampier, Spadoni, Strickland & Pilatzke, 2009). Financial programs that encourage educational advancements for rural-based nurses in another key strategy to retain such healthcare professionals in rural communities.

The education can be context-specific focusing on rural practices. In Canada, for example, the recommendation was that nurses working with Aboriginal people should have educational opportunities. The implementation of education scholarships, other tuition support programs, and loan forgiveness for nurses, addressed the issue of the inadequate number of such professionals working with Aboriginal Canadians.  

References

Andrews, M., Stewart, N., Morgan, D., & D’Arcy, C. (2011). More alike than different: a comparison of male and female RNs in rural and remote Canada. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(4), 561-570. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01195.x

Sevean, P., Dampier, S., Spadoni, M., Strickland, S., & Pilatzke, S. (2009). Patients and families experiences with video telehealth in rural/remote communities in Northern Canada. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(18), 2573-2579. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02427.x

Zimmer, L., Banner, D., Aldiabat, K., Keeler, G., Klepetar, A., & Ouellette, H. Wilson, E. & Macleod, M. (2014). Nursing education for rural and northern practice in Canada. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(8). doi:10.5430/jnep.v4n8p162

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