WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is adding 60 nursing positions for those who want to work in critical care to help with the COVID-19 pandemic’s third wave.

The province made this announcement at a technical briefing on Friday.

According to the province, these are equivalent full-time (EFT) positions at the Brandon, Grace, Health Sciences Centre (HSC), and St. Boniface hospitals. Once these nurses are hired, they will support an increased bed base for the foreseeable future.

These 60 positions will be split in the following way across the hospitals:

  • 12.6 EFT positions at both Brandon and Grace Hospitals, which is the equivalent three nurses 24/7; and
  • 16.8 EFT positions at both St. Boniface and HSC, which is the equivalent of four nurses 24/7.

Lanette Siragusa, Shared Health’s chief nursing officer, said these 60 nurses are not a “quick fix,” but rather will help in the medium to longer term.

Siragusa noted there is a process for hiring new nurses, and education and orientation need to take place.

“This is to build some stability into our system,” she said.

“We’re not depending on these 60 positions right now to manage. We have what we need in place now.”

Health officials said this step is important for the overall management of the COVID-19 waves and challenges. The province said these nurses will help support the number of ill patients with COVID-19, while also maintaining other essential services.