Ontario’s nurse staffing is falling further behind the rest of Canada, report shows

November 17, 2022

TORONTO, ON., November 17, 2022 – New statistics released today show that Ontario’s supply of registered nurses (RNs) has fallen further behind the national average than ever before.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report has found that the average number of RNs in the rest of Canada has increased by 2.68 per cent, giving a Canadian average of 830.5 RNs per 100,000 citizens. In Ontario, the average number of RNs per 100,000 people is just 668.

“The nursing shortage in Ontario is at a crisis level for front line health-care workers, and for every Ontarian needing care,” says ONA First Vice-President Angela Preocanin, RN. “This new data confirms that Ontario’s nursing shortage is more serious than in the rest of Canada than ever before, and things are only getting worse. The policies of the Ford government are clearly not improving the nursing shortage nor ensuring Ontarians get the care they need.”

Based on the CIHI data, Ontario would need to hire more than 24,000 RNs immediately to meet the national average. That figure is up from just under 22,000 last year and just under 17,000 RNs a decade ago. ONA believes the real number of additional RNs needed in Ontario is likely even higher. Nurse retention remains a major concern, with turnover and vacancy rates rising amidst burnout, crushing workloads and Premier Ford’s wage suppression legislation, Bill 124.

“Nurses are leaving in droves, citing overwork, burnout, moral distress and disrespect from the Ford government, which attacked their rights and capped the wages they fairly negotiated,” says Preocanin. ONA urges Ontarians to speak out as their health care remains in crisis.

“Ontarians must have a voice in the future of our public health-care system,” Preocanin says. “We can’t let the Ford government continue to erode nurse staffing and patient care. Contact your MPP and call for change before it’s you or your family member who is suffering from this shameful and completely repairable situation.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.


To arrange an interview, contact:

Sheree Bond shereeb@ona.org

Katherine Russo katheriner@ona.org