Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut May 10, 2018 - 1:30 pm

During national nursing week, thank Nunavut nurses, GN urges

But say it in English: only 10 nurses in Nunavut are Inuit, according to recent stats

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
This sheet on Indigenous nurses in Canada, produced by the University of Saskatchewan's School of Nursing, shows that the number of Inuit nurses has dropped, in Nunavut and across Canada.
This sheet on Indigenous nurses in Canada, produced by the University of Saskatchewan's School of Nursing, shows that the number of Inuit nurses has dropped, in Nunavut and across Canada.

It’s National Nursing Week from May 7 to May 13, and Nunavut’s Department of Health is urging residents to recognize the territory’s hard-working nurses.

“Offer a word of thanks and encouragement to nurses in your community!” was the government’s message in a news release.

The theme of this year’s national nursing week is “Yes, This Is Nursing,” referring to the changes in how nurses do their jobs due to information technology.

And May 9 was Indigenous Nurses Day.

But there’s a problem facing nursing in Nunavut: despite a nursing program in place since 2000 at Nunavut Arctic College, few of the territory’s nurses are Inuit, and the numbers of Inuit nurses appear to have dropped in Nunavut in recent years.

According to a fact sheet circulated by the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Nursing, the percentage of Indigenous nurses has gone down in Nunavut, from 24.2 per cent Inuit in 2011 to 14.3 per cent Inuit in 2016.

Of the 140 nurses in Nunavut in 2016, 20 were Indigenous—10 First Nations and 10 Inuit.

In the university’s last tally from 2011, meanwhile, of the 165 nurses in Nunavut, 35 nurses were Inuit.

Overall, the numbers of Inuit nurses Canada-wide decreased from 145 in 2011 to 125 in 2016.

Nunavut Arctic College continues to offer a pre-nursing program, as well as a bachelor of science in Arctic nursing.

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