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Ontario launches new program to recruit and retain staff in retirement homes

ELRIC PEREIRA, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility Office

The Ontario government is investing more than 2 million over two years to provide new and recently hired personal support workers (PSWs) and nurses with financial incentives to encourage them to work in retirement homes.

The new Recruitment and Retention Incentive Program will be delivered by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN). It will help recruit and retain skilled PSWs and nurses while building on Ontario’s plan to modernize the provincial retirement homes sector.

“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. Nurses will receive $10,000 for a one-year commitment to work in a retirement home.

“WeRPN is pleased to partner with the government to support the recruitment and retention of PSWs and nurses to Ontario’s retirement homes at a time when they are desperately needed,” said WeRPN CEO Dianne Martin.

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

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