Hundreds of new nurses coming to the Southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Hundreds of new nurses coming to the Southern Interior

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THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Hundreds of new registered nurses are being recruited to work in local hospitals under a new provincial agreement, the health minister announced today.

Provincial Health Minister Terry Lake announced today the province would work with the B.C. Nurses Union to create 1,649 regular nursing positions in health authorities across the province.

The Interior Health Authority will receive 300 of the new positions, second only to the Fraser Health Authority, which is to receive 400.

Lake said the government has been working with the nurses union to create the positions by the end of March. Recruitment efforts are expected to begin soon.

Union president Gayle Duteil praised the agreement as a solution to the overwhelming workloads some nurses face and urged nurses working casual positions who are interested in a permanent position to send an email to

The Interior Health Authority has a $2-billion budget and is responsible for providing health care to almost 750,000 residents.

Geographically, it is the second largest health authority in B.C., covering 215,000 square kilometres and containing tertiary hospitals in Kelowna and Kamloops, plus 20 more regional and community hospitals.

Along with 1,400 hospital beds, the health authority provides 6,500 residential care and assisted living beds. It employs approximately 20,000 staff, including 1,500 physicians.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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