New nursing graduates and late-career nurses have another reason to stay and work in Nova Scotia. The province and the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union have teamed up with Health Canada and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions to launch a $2.6-million initiative designed to retain new and late-career nurses. “This project will give nurses more support at critical times in their career,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Health. “This ensures they can continue to deliver high-quality patient care and gives them another important reason to stay in Nova Scotia.” The project implements ideas from nurses to improve work experience. An 80-20 staffing model will be tested. Participating late-career nurses will spend 80 per cent of their time in direct patient care, and the remaining 20 per cent on professional development and mentoring new graduates. New grads entering the field will benefit from mentoring and receive orientation to help them adapt to their new career, and the pressures nurses face. “One of the best ways to maintain both our new grads and our senior nurses is by addressing the concerns they identified — namely, the significant transition from school to the high demands required of a nurse acting independently,” said Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union. “Nurses who are close to retirement want to continue to work, but sometimes find a full-time schedule too challenging. This program offers resolution to both of those concerns.” The new project will target the graduating classes of June and December 2009 and June 2010, and will be available for registered and licensed practical nurses in the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, working in district health authorities and in continuing care. The first in Canada to test the approach on this scale, the project is an example of how the province and partners like the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union are working together to find innovative solutions that deliver more value and better health outcomes to Nova Scotians. The Nova Scotia project is part of Research to Action: Applied Workplace Solutions for Nurses, a $4.2-million federal grant awarded to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions to implement in partnership with provincial governments, health-care employers and unions. It is funded by Health Canada, and is supported by the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Dietitians of Canada.