To ensure a large complement of human resources are available during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is actively recruiting nursing retirees, nursing graduates and nursing students.
Hospital officials say the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has been given authority from the provincial government to issue Emergency Class certificates of registration to qualified Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses who have retired or have an expired registration.
The CNO is devoting resources to expedite these registrations as well as the temporary class registrations for nursing students who have completed the nursing program but have not yet written the registration exam, CKHA officials say.
“I am returning to work at CKHA for the same reasons I started nursing 34 years ago and that is for my patients,” stated Janice McFadden, Registered Nurse, a retiree with 31 years served, in a media release.
“I also want to support my fellow nurses, staff and physicians at the hospital as best as I can when they are feeling overwhelmed during this unprecedented time. Everyone can help stop this virus by physical distancing and staying at home and I can help by supporting our health care team.”
According to the CNO, the Emergency Assignment Class comes into effect when the province declares an emergency and asks the College to register qualified nurses in the Emergency Assignment Class, hospital officials say.
There is no fee to register in this class, CKHA officials added.
Current members of the Non-Practicing Class who have practiced nursing within the last three years and former CNO members of the General or Extended Class whose current membership status is Resigned or Expired, who have practiced nursing within the last three years, can apply for reinstatement under this expedited process, hospital officials say.
Also, local nurses who are currently registered in another Canadian or U.S. jurisdiction who have not been previously registered with CNO, but would like to register, can complete and submit an application.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe working environment and are making every attempt to ensure we have robust human resources ready for this unprecedented time,” stated Lisa Northcott, Vice President, People and Chief Nursing Executive, in a press release.
“Our new staff and retirees will go through a general orientation and receive support from our management team to ensure they feel prepared and welcomed into their roles. ”
With the expedited licensing process in place, CKHA will add the following new hires to its roster in the upcoming weeks:
– 10 nursing students who will assist with such duties as screening, portering, assisting patients with activities of daily living, monitoring patients who need 1:1 supervision and various other activities to support patient care. They will have orientation this week and will be ready to assist following that orientation.
– Ten Graduate Nurses (these are nurses who have completed the four year BScN program) but have not yet written their licensing exams. CKHA anticipates their start date to take place in the next two weeks pending receipt of their temporary CNO license to practice.
– Reaching out to retirees from all programs and working with those who have expressed a desire to return to assist in this fight against COVID-19.
“I am young and healthy and I feel in my situation, it is my duty to give back any way I can,” stated Simon Duchesne, 2nd Year BScN Student, University of Windsor, in a media release.
“I saw the opportunity and jumped on it. We completed our general orientation this week to ready us for our new roles and I feel very welcomed and supported here.”
If you are a nursing student, graduate or retiree and are interested in helping out during this unprecedented time at CKHA, contact Kyle Jelovic, recruitment advisor at 519-352-6401 ext. 6057 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.