Series Report # 35 Employment Integration of Nursing Graduates:Evaluation of a Provincial Policy Strategy Nursing Graduate Guarantee 2011–2012



Baumann, A., Crea-Arsenio, M., Hunsberger, M., & Idriss-Wheeler, D.

The Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG), launched in 2007, is a policy initiative that provides incentive funding to encourage employers to hire new graduates into full-time (FT) temporary supernumerary positions with the goal to transition new graduates into permanent FT positions. It was created in response to evidence of an increasing trend towards casualization of the general nursing workforce, particularly new graduate nurses (NGNs) (Baumann, Blythe, Cleverley, & Grinspun, 2006a). The NGG subsidizes up to six months of employment, including an extended orientation and mentorship program to facilitate the transition of NGNs into the workplace.

The year 2011–2012 marks the fifth anniversary of the NGG initiative. Over the past five years, 12,146 NGNs and over 200 healthcare employers have participated in the NGG (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2012a). Of the NGNs, 85% were hired into the hospital sector, 9% were hired into long-term care and 6% were hired into the community sector. Longitudinal trend data from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO, 2012b) indicate that full-time (FT) employment of new members (registered nurses [RNs] and registered practical nurses [RPNs]) has increased since the introduction of the NGG. According to the CNO, from 2006 (pre-policy) to 2012, there has been a 14% increase in FT employment for new member RNs (47% to 61%) and RPNs (21% to 35%).

The CNO (2012b) reports that over the past year, there has been a 3% increase in FT employment for new member RNs (58% to 61%) and a 1% decrease in FT employment for new member RPNs (36% to 35%). In Ontario, there are approximately 1198 potential employers and 6386 (3287 RNs and 3099 RPNs) nursing graduates. Based on this year’s evaluation, there was a 20% increase in the number of NGG funded positions over the past year from 1800 in 2010– 2011 to 2242 in 2011–2012.

As a result of the ongoing NGG investment, there has been a change in employer

practices and employment strategies pertaining to NGNs. The NGG is used by employers to hire and integrate NGNs into their workforce on an annual basis. Similarly, new graduates use the NGG employment portal as a means to enter the workforce in an efficient and effective manner. Once hired, new graduates are paired with a mentor or mentors for an extended orientation and mentorship which allows them to develop the skills and confidence needed to practice safely. The NGG program is vital to the successful integration of NGNs into Ontario’s healthcare system.