Revalorize the nursing profession, an emergency!

The Tribute recently reported the words of the Minister of Education, S?bastien Proulx, stating that teacher training should be upgraded to a second cycle. We allow ourselves to dream of a similar discourse with regard to an increase in the training of nurses from the Ministries of Health and Higher Education.

This enhancement is, in our opinion, and based on numerous studies, a solution to certain difficulties in our health network. Revalorizing and satisfying nurses, attracting and retaining nurses in their employment environment are some of the positive consequences of this enhancement.

A question here is: why this stagnation in the training of nurses when our health colleagues have increased their level of training and that teachers are now thinking about it? For example, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who now hold a master’s degree in the practice of their profession. Why this possibility of university training for other professionals whereas, since the 1990s, there is repeated demand to enhance the training of the next generation of nurses at the undergraduate level? Why this delay when most countries have made this transition for nurses? Why would we band apart in Quebec?

Some statistics: in 2017, 42.1% of nurses had a bachelor’s degree in Quebec while the Canadian rate of university-educated nurses at the bachelor’s level reached, already in 2015, from 51.3 to 99.2%. We believe that the reflection on enhancement that began with a prospective sectoral study of nursing education would provide answers. This study, begun in 2015 at the request of the Quebec Ministry of Health, was to inform us on the next steps, but the results are slow in coming and the situation is stagnating.

Yet there is no lack of evidence: increased complexity of care, unprecedented development of technologies, management of care teams requiring strong leadership and strong interprofessional collaboration, scope of practice expanded with Acts 90, 21 and 10 These laws have, among other things, made nursing the most developed profession in the last 10 years, but where the gap between training and the potential scope of practice is greatest. great.

Attempting to understand this situation, we emit a number of hypotheses that are quickly answered:

1. The cost of an enhancement of training. We know from this evidence that this enhancement of training is not only beneficial for patients but also saves money. Studies show that the presence of bachelor’s graduates in a sufficient percentage of a health care environment (at least 60) makes it possible to reduce preventable deaths, nosocomial diseases and medication errors.

2. The fear that CEGEPs and regions will receive this enhancement. With two pathways to university, initial training and integrated training (DEC-BAC), there has never been a question of excluding CEGEPs; on the contrary, they are key and essential partners. Access to higher education they offer, among others in the regions, must be valued. Programs in other provinces demonstrate the complementarity between institutions such as colleges and universities.

3. Cutbacks in higher education that have limited developments in university programs. Despite a recognized underfunding of nursing, universities have increased the number of graduates and performed miracles with little, including the training of specialized nurse practitioners (SPIs) at the master’s level;

4. Being a female profession with a history of care. There is probably a track there, but it can not solve the situation quickly.

As academics, but especially nurses, we want to see our valued profession, recognized for its contribution, not only by the “dedication” of nurses, but above all by their skills and knowledge, by their broad scope of practice, at the same time. level that our colleagues in health and that, to ensure the population of care to meet the growing needs within the health system.

At a time when the WHO is prioritizing the value of nursing care in the face of a global shortage of caregivers, Quebec must take the time lost and rethink the training of nurses by enhancing it. The same goes for the other members of the health care team, be they licensed practical nurses and beneficiary attendants. Our participation in discussions and actions and our collaboration with other levels of education are assured.

Patricia Bourgault, RN, PhD,
Director of the School of Nursing and Vice-Dean of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universit? de Sherbrooke

Francine Ducharme, RN Ph.D.,
Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, University of Montreal


Sylvain Brousseau, RN, PhD,
Director of the Health Sciences Module, Universit? du Qu?bec en Outaouais

France Cloutier, RN, PhD,

Director of Graduate Programs in Nursing, Universit? du Qu?bec ? Trois-Rivi?res

Anita Gagnon, RN, PhD,
Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Director, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Mireille Lavoie, RN, PhD,
Dean, Faculty of Nursing, Laval University

Daniel Milhomme, RN, PhD,
Director of the Department of Nursing, Universit? du Qu?bec ? Rimouski

Marie Tremblay, RN, MSc, Director of Graduate
Programs in Nursing, Module of Nursing and Health Sciences, Universit? du Qu?bec ? Chicoutimi

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