Manitoba opens door to help from retired, out-of-province nurses in COVID-19 fight

Manitoba is looking to licensed nurses from other provinces and retired nurses to help in the battle against COVID-19.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen announced Friday the province has issued an order that enables professional nursing colleges in the province — the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba and College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba — to modify their criteria to allow those nurses to work.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that we put the focus on getting as many qualified health-care professionals as possible into the workforce to help protect Manitobans,” he stated in a news release.

“By enacting temporary changes to nursing registration requirements, nurses from other provinces and retired nurses will be able to get licensed more quickly in Manitoba.”

Their eligibility will depend on whether or not they can meet the modified criteria for registration, Friesen said.

Jennifer Breton, executive director of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses, said in the news release that the move will make it possible to be more responsive to the needs created by the pandemic.

The changes will remain in place for at least six months to ensure nursing resources are available in the immediate future, Friesen said.

“We welcome and appreciate any nurses who respond to this call to lend a helping hand to care for Manitobans during this pandemic,” he said.