WINNIPEG -- The province has signed an agreement that will see nursing staff throughout the health-care system redeployed to areas that are deemed a priority.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Darlene Jackson, the president of the Manitoba Nurses Union, made the announcement Tuesday evening.

The plan could see nurses go anywhere, including personal care homes, intensive care units, and specific COVID-19 units.

"Our government's top priority is ensuring patients and PCH residents are provided with the best possible care. Working with nurses, we are taking every possible step to meet the needs of Manitobans with COVID-19 in our PCHs and acute care facilities," said Friesen in a news release.

The agreement means health-care employers can change things such as schedules, location, and shift patterns to help support the demands created by COVID-19.

With that, allowances will be given to those workers who are affected by the changes as well as those who are working in facilities where an outbreak has been declared.

"Nurses have played a critical role on the front line of Manitoba's pandemic response, and they have stepped up to the challenge, working countless long hours to provide quality care for patients and residents," said Jackson in a news release.

If nurses are repositioned to work up north, they will receive additional allowances as well as those who are already working up north and pick up extra shifts in other regions.

The province said the nurse's training and skill level and where they work already will be taken into consideration. If they are reassigned, they will receive the appropriate training and orientation for their new location.

Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health, said this agreement will help stabilize the workforce.

"It recognizes the dedication, commitment and sacrifices of nurses who are caring for our sick and our most vulnerable in personal care homes and in hospital, and who are adapting to changes in duties or work location in order to fight the devastating effects of COVID-19," said Siragusa in a news release.

The province said this agreement will be in place for the "duration of the pandemic response."