Nurses say pandemic experience pushing them out of Quebec hospitals

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Nurses in Quebec say working conditions, including mandatory overtime and refused vacations, have caused many people new to the profession to turn to the private sector for better pay and more flexible hours.


(Jacob Serebrin/ CBC News) — Nursing students and recent graduates from Quebec nursing programs say working conditions in the public health-care system are driving them to the private sector, further exacerbating a shortage of nurses in provincial hospitals.

Audrey-Ann Bissonnette-Clermont, 27, graduated with a nursing degree a year ago. She started out in a Montreal emergency room but decided to shift careers and take a job in telemedicine.

“I got into the profession because I like people, I like to work with people,” she said. “It’s been hard to leave behind the face-to-face contact, but it’s not difficult for my mental health.”

Bissonnette-Clermont says, unlike many nurses working in Quebec hospitals, she wasn’t required to work a significant amount of overtime during the pandemic. But she says the past year was still draining. (…)

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