New report details benefits of increasing number of Aboriginal nurses

March 25, 2015

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada’s Saskatchewan Institute suggests that more Aboriginal nurses are needed in northern and Aboriginal communities. The report, Healthy Foundations: Nursing’s Role in Building Strong Aboriginal Communities, discusses the benefits of increasing Aboriginal representation in health professions, especially nursing, such as improving access and continuity of care, reducing the costs involved in attracting and retaining outside nursing professionals, and improving community self-sufficiency and self-determination. The report also examines new and innovative approaches to delivering nursing education in rural and remote communities, including the use of remote presence technology by the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. "There is broad consensus from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, all levels of government, and the health regions, that we need to have more Aboriginal nurses if we want to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal peoples in Canada and make the health care system more representative of the clientele it serves," stated co-author and uSask nursing Dean Lorna Butler. uSask’s Native Access Program to Nursing has been assisting students with access to nursing education for more than 2 decades. Lakehead University researchers have also looked at ways to increase the number of Aboriginal nurses in Ontario. Conference Board News Release | Lakehead Report