A population health-based approach to nurse human resource planning in BC

Health human resource planning is identified repeatedly as the foremost priority in the field of health services research. Current approaches to health human resource planning include the need to move beyond “head counts” of health care providers to more robust and dynamic approaches that include consideration of many different factors. Improved planning for the registered nurse workforce is of particular concern, requiring an understanding of the influence of contextual issues such as the impact of population health trends, changing demographics and policy directions on human resources planning initiatives. Sandra Regan’s research is focused on identifying the numbers and characteristics (education, competencies, employment patterns and roles) of the registered nurses needed to meet the health care needs of British Columbians. In order to determine the numbers and characteristics of registered nurses required in BC, her research will combine existing registered nurse databases with population health data, interview data and focus group data from key players in the health care system including consumers. This research will assist decision-makers such as government, employers and educational institutions to understand the implications for future planning of health care services provided by registered nurses. It will also contribute to understanding how to better plan for other health care providers (e.g. pharmacists, physicians).