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Dear Potential Supporter,

Nursing the Future (NTF)  (www.nursingthefuture.ca) continues its mandate to support, provide a collegial network for, and professionally empower the newest members of our nursing community. Over the past 8 years since it’s inception, NTF has grown to national prominence, now working with Practical, Registered and Psychiatric nursing student groups, health regions, educators, and leaders in Canada in a coordinated effort to assist new nursing graduates during their transition from student to professional practitioner. In addition, the organization’s grassroots efforts have brought senior and novice nurses together for the purpose of creating a mutually respectful and collegial workplace – this has increased job satisfaction and work performance for these organizations.

Over the years, NTF has started to recognize the tremendous potential for building the leadership capacity of its new graduate executive members. Recently, new graduate leaders in NTF chapters from coast to coast have connected with nursing unit managers to offer theory and practice insights into professional role transition for the new nurse. Further, new graduates have joined up with senior educators in undergraduate and diploma nursing programs to deliver similar content targeted at the nursing student such that these pending graduates are more prepared to make a healthy workplace transition. Finally, graduate leaders in NTF have developed and conducted numerous mentorship workshops for new and seasoned nursing pairings and presented on the theory transition and strategies for addressing transition shock at regional, national and international nursing conferences.

Kandis Harris (NTF National Leadership Director), Heather Dickie, Kendra Ayers, Brooke Bowles, Jennifer Parsonage, Stephanie Tonkin and Bryan Say (Provincial and Chapter Coordinators) as well as Christina Cossette (NTF Professional Development Coordinator) are graduate leaders who are working closely with both administrative and educational leaders in their provinces to make transition education and support available to all nurses involved in the integration of new nurses into the workforce. As of November 2011, NTF supports over 45 new graduate leadership positions across all provinces in Canada, has a new graduate and seasoned practitioner membership of over 2500, and is responding to ongoing requests for formal Chapter development and induction.

Numerous NTF leaders who have lived the first phase of their professional development in this organization are now taking on advanced nursing leadership positions in their communities and serving as mentors to new executive members of NTF. Several are enrolled in the Master of Nursing program at the University of Calgary (www.ucalgary.ca), studying nursing leadership and professional role transition under the direction of Dr. Duchscher. These young scholars are engaging in cutting edge nursing research in the provinces of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, and both plan to continue building nursing capacity in their respective communities.

NTF has initiated a number of programs that assist new graduates as they transition into their new professional roles. Having recently launched a new website, currently producing a much expanded 2nd Edition of the NTF New Graduate Survival Guide and with plans to launch the Canadian Network for New Nurse Research, Innovation and Capacity Building, NTF predicts that the next few years will see the organization moving closer to its original vision of being THE primary network of support for newly graduated nurses in Canada and an incubator of leadership capacity for new nurses. By fulfilling these aims, and by acting as the annual national partner alongside rotating provincial stakeholders in the Annual WINN-NTF New Nurse Workplace Integration Conference (see www.winn-ntf.com), NTF is gaining an international reputation for its ability to assist health regions to grow nursing communities and healthcare cultures of professional support. With moral disenchantment and professional disengagement of nurses at record levels across North America, there is a ‘hazard’ to nursing work that is eroding the workplace and costing health regions in sick time, reduced retention and premature employee attrition. Workplace conflict and challenges managing escalating workloads and care acuity are the most significant contributing factors to the emotional burnout being demonstrated by nurses at all levels. These workplace stressors contribute to losses in productivity, a reduction in available mentors and seasoned nursing knowledge, increases in the transiency of new employees, and premature exit of established practitioners out of the workforce. All of these variables feed a cycle of workplace dissatisfaction, subsequently creating a space for issues related to quality of patient care in the workplace to emerge.

NTF is contributing to a positive professional culture that fosters employee cohesion, facilitates and supports connections and collaborations between managers, educators and practicing nurses. The organization seeks to increase nursing work role satisfaction by creating an environment of partnership amongst nurses of all scopes and levels of responsibility. This year, NTF reconstituted its website to facilitate the sharing of critical nursing and healthcare information. Blogs, podcasting, discussion boards, a dynamic and engaging quarterly e-newsletter, relevant industry news, job opportunities and much more will allow NTF to deliver support and platforms of exchange to its members in healthcare communities across Canada. NTF is proud of the success of its “Welcome to Practice Events” which have been held in a number of provinces with excellent support from the various health regions. These social networking events occur through collaborative connections between the new graduates and their senior nursing mentors in those communities.

While the economic downturn of the past year has led many senior nurses to stay on the job longer, research projects a massive nursing shortage in the near future as the current demographic retirements and prematurely exiting of senior nurses from the workplace cumulate. Now is the time to position yourself as a center of excellence and a workplace of choice by establishing teams of new graduate and senior nursing leaders who can assist your province to develop and sustain a solid professional nursing community. Recent reports have revealed that American recruiters are becoming more aggressive in their pursuit of our Canadian nurses to fill the vacancies in their increasing desperate health regions. Canada is following suit on a provincial scale as the national scarcity of nursing resources drives regions to ‘poach’ human resources from other parts of the country. Finally, global shortages of resources are motivating international and overseas recruitment campaigns that target the youthful pursuits of new graduates, seeking to capture the interests of a mobile generation with energy and creativity looking for a place that will embrace and value its contribution to the profession. Bringing this to the home front, a recent report from the Quebec Order of Nurses described one hospital in Switzerland as having recently employed over 250 nurses from the province. Patrick O’Byrne, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawaremarked that the news story is reminiscent of the 1990’s when “health experts warn[ed] Canada [that it] could face a repeat of the 1990s, when health-care cuts by the provinces drove as many as 27,000 nurses to the U.S. alone to look for work…the ’90s were quite bleak”.

Costs resulting from a loss of nurses, or changes in their employment patterns due to job dissatisfaction have been identified as ranging anywhere from $37,00-$65,000/nurse. Supporting NTF is an investment in your new graduates and in the stability of your nursing community. We can assist you to create a strong support base for new nurses and foster strong partnerships between those graduates and your existing nursing leadership. We believe that these partnerships will help you build and maintain a strong workforce and serve as a leadership succession plan that can assist you to enact the healthcare visions you have for your region or province.

To support a regional new graduate leadership team in YOUR area, or to  profile YOUR organization to new nurses around the world through website advertising, contact us at newgraduates@nursingthefuture.ca.

Judy E. Boychuk Duchshcher, RN, PhD

Executive Director

Nursing The Future


The induction process for an NTF Chapter encompasses progressive stages of preparation. Using dialogue, education, and ultimately an onsite 2 day workshop, NTF new graduate leaders are trained to be experts in the professional role transition experience of the newly graduate nurse as well as competent consultants for their health regions on issues related to support for the process of transition. The education and training, as well as the final Chapter Induction Retreat (2 day final preparation of graduate leaders) takes place through ongoing dialogue with new graduates and regional nursing leaders in the region being inducted.

The Canadian Network for New Nurse Research, Innovation and Capacity Building (CNN-RIC) is being developed for the purpose of establishing a network for the ongoing sharing of and collaborating on the development of research, education and practice projects and initiatives that identify and address the issues related to new nurse (RN, LPN, RPN) preparation, transition, consolidation and stabilization within the healthcare workforce. Chaired by Dr. Judy Duchscher (University of Calgary) and Dr. Kathy Wilson (University of New Brunswick) this national knowledge repository and initiative network will join Canadian researchers, educators, academics, practitioners, administrators and nursing leaders in proposing, developing, conducting, evaluating and implementing research and/or projects related to the preparation, transition, consolidation and stabilization of new nursing professionals. We hope to launch this network in 2011-12.