"A Nurse Practitioner Available to all Residents of Saskatchewan"

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SANP is a non-profit, volunteer-run, professional organization that supports and advances the professional interests of its membership — NPs, NP students, and nurses who have an interest in the NP practice.

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Recruitment and Retention Incentives for NP Students

The Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners addresses challenges that we as NPs face, and seek to better serve the people of this province. Recruitment and Retention of future NPs is an important issue that needs to be addressed. Currently there are 25 vacant NP positions posted in the province but needs are actually estimated to be 41positions. This calculation is predicted with a broad look at current needs and is reflective of our current practitioners approaching retirement. Complicating the arising need for recruitment and retention is a provincial change in transfer payments to Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). The previous bursary program for NP students has disappeared. 

  Many NP students report that they are unable to access bursary monies from their respective RHAs and in addition, they do not qualify for Canada or Saskatchewan government student loan programs. Program challenges including: a strenuous academic program, time off work, loss of income, loss of work-life balance, and other considerations have resulted in attrition as high as 30-50%. SANP went to look for solutions.


On 14 June 2013 SANP members Lia Boxall, President, Barb Warkentin, Past-president, Leland Sommer, President-elect and MaryAnn Denton, NP student met with Dustin Duncan, Minister of Health, Randy Weekes, Minister of Rural & Remote Health and Don Morgan, Minister of Advanced Education. The goal of this meeting was to propose a recruitment and retention incentive proposal for NP students that included financial assistance options.

SANP proposed two options for consideration:

  • Bursary Program: an improved and accessible program
  • “Grow Your Own NP” (NP Residency) program. The requirements considered in the formulation of these options were flexibility, real money available to the student, and a return in service commitment. We pushed home the point that these programs would be most successful with the commitment of RHAs to create NP positions for NP students in their own communities as they have family, roots, and working knowledge of these communities. As Minister Morgan stated, “so we are looking at the family not just the individual”. The result would be added value for dollars spend and added benefit for the communities of our province.

The Ministers will be taking a few weeks to review our “food for thought” and will be contacting SANP for continued discussion on our proposal. We will keep you updated.