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January 18, 2024

Nova Scotia Considers Limiting Travel Nurses

In a significant move aimed at bolstering the stability and dedication of its nursing workforce, Nova Scotia contemplates limiting travel nurses in the province. Starting December 15, Premier Tim Houston imposed a restriction on travel nurses in the province, limiting their service to a maximum of 180 days. The decision, designed to prioritize the well-being and job satisfaction of local nurses, has garnered both support and scrutiny.

Reasons Behind the Decision:

Nova Scotia contemplates limiting travel nurses in the provincePremier Tim Houston emphasized that the decision is rooted in the desire to show respect and appreciation for the dedicated nurses who are permanent employees within Nova Scotia’s healthcare system. Many local nurses, according to  Houston, work alongside travel nurses who enjoy better financial incentives like accommodation and schedule flexibility. By limiting the presence of travel nurses, the government hopes to foster a work environment that recognizes and also rewards the commitment of its permanent nursing staff.

Support from Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union:

Nova Scotia contemplates limiting travel nurses in the provinceFurthermore, the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, represented by President Janet Hazelton, has expressed strong support for the new restrictions. Hazelton also believes that the province is currently spending excessive amounts, in the millions, on travel nurses, diverting funds away from the core healthcare system. She also applauds the decision as a crucial step towards preserving the financial resources of the healthcare sector, enabling more targeted investments for the benefit of patients and local healthcare professionals.

Impact on Nursing Graduates:

Impact on Nursing GraduatesUnder the new regulations, nursing graduates in Nova Scotia will be prohibited from working as travel nurses during their first year of post-graduation employment. This measure aims to motivate local nurses to seek permanent positions within the province instead of choosing temporary travel nursing roles. By providing a clear pathway for new graduates to enter the workforce, Nova Scotia aims to address the challenge of retaining skilled professionals within its healthcare system.

Regional Strategy and Hopeful Expansion:

Nova Scotia contemplates limiting travel nurses in the provincePremier Houston envisions the restrictions on travel nurses as part of a broader regional strategy. He expressed optimism that other provinces would follow Nova Scotia’s lead in implementing similar measures. The goal is to create a unified approach across the Maritimes, ensuring that all provinces work together to strengthen their healthcare systems by promoting stability, job satisfaction, and financial sustainability.

Challenges and Similar Initiatives in New Brunswick:

Challenges and Similar Initiatives in New BrunswickNeighboring province New Brunswick has faced similar concerns with the extensive use of travel nurses. In a span of eight months, the province spent nearly $56 million on these temporary healthcare professionals. The president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union, Paula Doucet, has echoed the call for stricter regulations. Doucet stresses that the Maritimes initially adopted travel nurses as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. She hopes that the Nova Scotia initiative will inspire New Brunswick and other provinces to reevaluate and potentially limit the use of travel nurses as well.


Nova Scotia’s decision to limit the presence of travel nurses marks a bold step towards fortifying its healthcare system. By prioritizing the needs and job satisfaction of local nurses, the province aims to create a more stable and financially sustainable healthcare environment. As the implementation of these restrictions unfolds, the eyes of healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public will be keenly watching to assess the impact on both the local workforce and the broader regional healthcare landscape.

Category: Uncategorized, Career

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