Two-thirds of Nunavut nurses report experiencing violence in workplace
Response part of Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut survey, released Wednesday
About half of the territory’s nurses plan to retire over the next decade and two-thirds have considered leaving their jobs in the past two years, according to survey results released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut.
The survey, conducted in February by the Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, looked at working conditions for nurses across both territories.
The survey received responses from 328 Nunavut nurses.
While about 60 per cent of the nurses surveyed said they were satisfied with working conditions, two-thirds said they had personally experienced violence in the workplace and even more had witnessed violence there.
More than two-thirds also said their current job is contributing to burnout, with the vast majority experiencing burnout over the past 12 months.
“Nurses reported the burnout was the result of two main factors, management issues and inadequate supports,” the survey report said.
On top of that, just over three out of five respondents said staffing levels in Nunavut aren’t adequate to meet patient needs.
Nurses also reported they want more training in the areas of mental health and addictions, public health and cultural competence.
The survey also showed that while nearly one-third of overall respondents said their primary place of residence is outside Nunavut, just over two-thirds of nurses working at Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit live in the territory permanently.
Three-quarters of the nurses who responded to the survey said they had been working in their current position for five years or less.
Of the respondents, about 20 per cent are indeterminate or full-time employees, while about 78 per cent reported working on a contract or casual basis.
The survey shows that more than half of the nurses who responded were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the recruitment process.
“Those who reported being unsatisfied/somewhat unsatisfied identified long and confusing hiring processes, challenges navigating relocation, lack of support, lack of formal orientation/onboarding processes, poor communication, and lack of accessible and current information as key reasons,” the results said.
Nunavut, along with other provinces and territories, has long struggled to recruit and retain nurses.
The survey report also points to possible solutions to the nursing shortage, including annual financial incentives, the ability to work short-term contracts, and access to more professional development opportunities.
“Today, [nurses association’s] 2021 nursing survey will allow us to listen to our staff’s guidance to determine how to better meet their needs. This feedback will help us fulfill the goals of our recruitment and retention strategies,” Nunavut Health Minister John Main said in a news release.