The head of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union is hopeful the new office dedicated to recruiting health-care workers in the province will deliver on their mandate.
Janet Hazelton's comments come as recent data shows there are over 2,100 health-care job vacancies in Nova Scotia.
She told NEWS 95.7's The Todd Veinotte Show there are over 1,000 job vacancies for registered nurses, alone.
"Eleven-hundred bedside nurses is a lot and nearly 250 LPNs," she said. "There's a couple thousand LPNs in the system so to have 250 vacancies is a big percentage as well."
Hazelton says this results in more overtime and stress for nurses who are currently in the system.
"The overtime is through the roof, and without overtime I don't know how the system would even function," she said. "People need to work 40 hours a week, not 60 to 70 because it's not healthy and it's not sustainable."
Since the Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment was created, Hazelton says she has had positive discussions about ways to recruit and retain nurses in Nova Scotia.
"One of the first things we talked about was getting our employers in front of our students well before they graduate to give them job offers, and shortly after that discussion happened, the health authority has done that," said Hazelton.
She says Nova Scotia needs more nurses, adding they can't depend on nurses coming from other provinces or countries.
"The answer is getting young men and women interested in the profession that are Nova Scotians," she said.