What is really happening: NBNU clarifies how many nurses have actually been hired

FREDERICTON (NBNU) – A recent claim by the Nurses Association of New Brunswick that during a six-month period (December 2022 to May 2023) they registered 657 nurses for work in New Brunswick, is misleading. 

“Although we applaud the NANB for accelerating the registration process for nurses looking to work in New Brunswick, we know that being registered to work, does not equal being hired or working,” said Paula Doucet, NBNU President. “We asked the two regional health authorities to confirm the number of nurses that have been hired during this same period and what we confirmed supports our knowledge that there are still huge shortages within our public health care system.” 

In July, the association that registers and accredits nurses to work in NB (NANB) stated they had registered 657 nurses between December 2022 to May 2023. When asked for numbers of nurses hired, Horizon confirmed that 118 nurses were hired during that time and Vitalité confirmed hiring 116 nurses from January to June 2023. 

If 234 nurses were recently hired to work in our public health system, where are the other 423 nurses who were registered, actually working? 

“The reality is we know many individuals are going through the process to register to work in New Brunswick but are doing so to work for agency nursing firms on short-term contracts. Many of these individuals are not New Brunswick residents or graduates seeking registration to find employment. Throwing out this number of new nurses who are now ‘registered’ is not helpful – we are still experiencing a vast nursing shortage in our public system and within our long-term care sector,” said Doucet. 

Just a few months ago, a total number of 1,200 nurse vacancies were confirmed in the province because of retirements, nurses leaving the profession and other factors. 

“We are pleased that the health authorities are accelerating recruitment efforts – good news – but let’s be factual with the information out there. More and more contracts are being signed to bring in travel nurses to fill gaps and we know these travel nursing companies are making a lot of profit. I challenge our province to halt the use of travel/agency nurses and commit to hiring nurses in the provincially funded, public healthcare system. Paying agencies three times what it would cost to hire a salaried nurse is a waste of taxpayer’s money,” Doucet concluded. 


The New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) is a labour organization of approximately 8900 nurses who are employed in various healthcare facilities throughout the province of New Brunswick. 

Contact: Jane Matthews-Clark Communications [email protected]
Phone:  506-453-7265 Mobile: 506-897-3951