Saskatchewan nurses worried about policy on hours for retiring staff

SASKATOON – A Saskatoon Health Region policy made in 2010 that prevents retired nurses from working casual hours is causing concern as nearly 2,000 Saskatchewan nurses are expected to retire within the next two years.

Janice McKerlie, a 60-year-old nurse planning to retire in January, says some nurses are worried that the policy will cause disruptions in wait times.

She says it could cause huge gaps in service delivery and could result in facility closures in rural areas.

McKerlie adds if retired nurses could work casual hours they could help mentor all the new nurses coming in.

But Karen Newman, director of human resource development with the health region, says the policy is flexible and reviewed once a year.

Newman points out a retired Saskatoon Health Region nurse could also work casually in another health region.

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But McKerlie says that’s not very helpful considering older nurses are less likely to move away.

“I’m not willing to relocate; I’m not willing to drive to Prince Albert to work. I would be willing to come back to work in the Saskatoon Health Region in an area where I have expertise,” said McKerlie.

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region does not currently have a similar policy in place.


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