Summer Nursing Schedule Extended at Some Emergency Departments in Cape Breton

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is extending its summer nursing schedule at emergency departments in Glace Bay, New Waterford, North Sydney and Sydney.

In June, the schedule was put in place to temporarily reassign registered nurses (RNs) with emergency experience from the community hospitals and mobile care team (MCT) in New Waterford to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital emergency department (ED) in Sydney. The reassignment was due to a shortage of emergency RNs to cover shifts at the Regional ED. Some travel nurses also covered shifts in the Regional ED and will continue to be part of the nursing schedule. The extended schedule will be in place until at least the new year.

“We’ve looked at the ongoing vacancies and pending hires and there is still a challenge covering shifts at the Regional ED,” says Brett MacDougall, director for emergency program of care in NSHA’s Eastern Zone. “Because the Regional Hospital is the main referral and trauma centre for the area, its ED needs to stay open 24/7. We are fortunate and thankful to have the reassigned RNs, travel nurses and experienced emergency RNs who remain at our community hospitals all working hard to ensure the people in our communities continue to receive emergency care.”

NSHA continues to work on RN recruitment, innovative staffing solutions and orientation of RNs for work in emergency departments.

People are reminded that if you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest open emergency department. For non-emergency health needs, call 811 or visit a primary health care provider. The provincial Mental Health Crisis Line operates 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167.


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Greg Boone, Communications & Public Relations
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