Staff crunch puts summer vacation on hold for nurses at 2 N.S. hospitals

Nurses at two Nova Scotia hospitals are being told summer vacation requests can’t be approved until staffing issues are addressed.

A memo went out to nursing staff of Guysborough Memorial Hospital and Eastern Memorial Hospital on Friday from Angela MacArthur, director of integrated health for rural hospitals in the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

“We will continue to work on these requests and will notify individual nurses if and when we can approve their vacation as soon as we are able,” MacArthur writes in the memo, which made the rounds on social media.

“We do realize that this is not ideal but we will continue to work toward allowing vacations as operationally possible.”

This memo was sent to nursing staff at two rural hospitals on Friday. (Facebook)

A spokesperson for the health authority said recruitment is ongoing at both hospitals.

At Eastern Memorial, located in Canso, there are three postings for registered nurses. Two licensed practical nurses are in the process of being hired.

At Guysborough Memorial, meanwhile, there are three openings for registered nurses and two for licensed practical nurses.

“Nursing recruitment is an ongoing process that is happening each and every day within Nova Scotia Health Authority,” Carla Adams said via email.

She said these are the only two hospitals where staffing issues are affecting summer vacation approvals.

Adams said the health authority is working to hire 350 new registered nurse graduates based on need projections for the next 12 months.

Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union president Janet Hazelton was not immediately available for comment.

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