Nursing grads fear they will have to leave Alberta due to health cuts

Health care worker: Parveen Takhar is a health care worker in Calgary. She works at a seniors’ home. (Photo by Rajneet Takhar/The Press)

With the recent budget cuts by the province, many nursing students have become concerned that they may not find employment after graduation.

Harleen Sandhu is a Mount Royal University nursing student who will be graduating this year.

Sandhu said it is going to be difficult for her to find work after she finishes school.

She said in an interview that a lot of graduating nurses will eventually decide to move to other provinces to find employment.

She said this might be a real possibility for her as well if she is unable to find a job in Calgary.

“We all have student loans that we have to pay back,” she said.

“What can we do if we don’t find a job? How will we pay for everything?”

Sandhu said nurses work long hours and overtime, but because of the budget cuts, they will get paid way less than what they expect.

Sandhu currently works at a hospital in Calgary to get the practical experience she needs in order to get her nursing license.

“A lot of the nurses in my unit have decided they will go on strike if they’re not heard by the government,” said Sandhu.

Harleen Mann recently graduated from Bow Valley College and she is also trying to find a job to support herself.

Mann, over Instagram and Snapchat, said she and her mother are both nurses.

“I am getting a lot of support from my mother to find a job,” said Mann.

Parveen Takhar, a health care aide and practical nurse, said she is worried about the new generation finding jobs.

I have been working in the field for 15 years and it is difficult seeing how hard the economy has been hit. – Parveen Takhar

Takhar said many nurses are frustrated due to the fact the government is trying to decrease their pay and also reduce holiday payments.

The majority of the nurses agree that they will protest to get better working conditions and fair pay that they deserve.