Nursing retention and recruitment strategies are recognized as an essential activity to ensure the viability of the nursing workforce and health care delivery in Canada. To meet its current nursing shortage, Alberta’s 2001 and 2007 collective agreements included seven nurse retention and recruitment initiatives. Alberta Health Services (AHS), the amalgamated health authority covering the entire province, and United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) recognized the need to evaluate the effectiveness of these different initiatives. The two organizations have been working together since 2001 when the Multi-Employer/UNA Joint Committee in Alberta was established to resolve issues of mutual concern between rounds of collective bargaining.
These initiatives included a Retirement Preparation Program, a Pre-Retirement FTE (full-time equivalent) Reduction Retention Program, a Weekend Worker Program, a Flexible Part-Time Project, a Seasonal Part-Time Positions Project, a Benefit Eligible Casual Employee Positions Project (BECE) and a Transitional Graduate Nurse Recruitment Program (TGNRP) providing supernumerary positions for a maximum of 900 new nurses per year.