The Ontario government is investing $57.6 million over the next three years to recruit and retain up to 225 additional nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector through the new Hiring More Nurse Practitioners (HMNP) for Long-Term Care program.
“Today’s investment supports our plan to bolster staffing in long-term care and continue to address the need for more health care capacity across the sector,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Recruiting and retaining more nurse practitioners will not only improve health outcomes for our residents but also provide opportunities for growth and learning for staff within long-term care homes.”
Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses who have an advanced university education and who may work in the long-term care sector as part of a health care team that develops, implements, and evaluates residents’ care plans. They also provide leadership and mentorship to other staff, enhancing their knowledge and ability to care for residents.
As part of the program, long-term care homes can request funding for eligible employment expenses – including salary, benefits, and overhead costs – for newly hired nurse practitioners. The funding also provides up to $5,000 in relocation support for nurse practitioners who are hired to work full-time in rural communities and who have agreed to provide a minimum of 12 months of service.
The HMNP initiative was announced as part of the Fall Economic Statement in 2021 and also highlighted in the government’s Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability & Recovery, released on August 18, 2022. This investment also supports the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, which was launched in 2020 and sets out actions to educate, train and help recruit tens of thousands of new health care staff through partnerships with professional associations, long-term care homes, and education and training providers, so that homes can provide an average of four hours of direct care per day to residents.