Ontario launches retirement home staff recruitment and retention program

The Ontario government is pumping in money to encourage more personal support workers (PSWs) and nurses to work in retirement homes and says that the financial incentives will flow directly to eligible health care professionals.

The province recently announced that it is investing more than $2 million over two years in a new Recruitment and Retention Incentive Program that will be delivered by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN).

“Ontario has an immediate need for PSWs and nurses to address staffing shortages in retirement homes,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Our government’s partnership with WeRPN will ensure eligible retirement home applicants with the highest level of staffing need will be prioritized under the new Recruitment and Retention Incentive Program. Further, WeRPN is well-positioned to raise awareness of the program with current and future PSW and nursing graduates. Attracting and retaining skilled health care professionals will help safeguard the health and well-being of retirement home residents and their families.”

Through this initiative, PSWs will receive an incentive payment of $5,000 for a six-month commitment and nurses will receive $10,000 for a one-year commitment to work in a retirement home, the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility said in a media statement.

The first Call for Applications from retirement homes will launch on August 12, 2021 and the deadline for applications is September 17, 2021. A second Call for Applications will launch in December 2021.

Interested retirement homes are required to apply for the program.

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