Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise in the House today to recognize Nurses Week in appreciation of the men and women who work on the front lines of patient care. The 270,000-plus registered nurses in Canada constitute this country's largest group of health care professionals, representing one-third of all workers.
Unfortunately, we have a major nursing shortage in this country, a shortage that is only getting worse. If we continue down this path, Canada will be short 78,000 nurses by 2011 and 113,000 by 2016.
The shortage of nurses is tied to the fact that education seats in nursing were cut, the nursing workforce is aging and a large percentage of the workforce is not employed full time.
In addition, men only make up 6% of nurses in Canada. If we are to solve the lack of nurses, we must work with the Canadian Men in Nursing Group to encourage young men to consider this most noble of professions.