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Welcome to the CHHRN-CIHI Library

The library is a searchable online bilingual database of peer-reviewed literature, grey literature, as well as data resources on all matters related to health human resources within and concerning Canada.

The paradoxical impact of health care restructuring in Canada on nursing as a profession

Author
Heitlinger A
Year
2003
Journal
International Journal of Health Services: Planning, Administration, Evaluation
Volume
33
Issue
1
Pages
37-54
ISSN
0020-7314
Geography
Document Type
Hits
550
Language
English
Keywords
Canada,Health Care
This article draws on the concept of "countervailing powers" to explore some of the contradictory effects of Canadian health care restructuring on nursing. The main focus is on key institutional powers in the nursing field, the major individual and collective strategies nurses have adopted in response to restructuring, and the ways in which the interaction between global and national market forces and the aggregate responses of nurses has created a severe shortage of nurses. The global shortage has led to a global competition for nurses' labor. This, along with government budget surpluses, has increased nurses' bargaining power, forcing governments and hospital managers to reverse nursing spending cuts; to offer more secure professional jobs, as opposed to casual work; to engage in aggressive, bonuses-laden recruitment of nurses, both within Canada and abroad; and, more generally, to rethink some of their restructuring strategies. However, since the bargaining power of nurses is largely market dependent and, as such, highly variable, there does not seem to be much potential for a sustained increase in the institutionalized power of the nursing profession.