After years of emphasizing the need for health professionals, everyone knows there’s a shortage.

But it’s not just hospitals that need nurses and other health-related professionals — public health departments are often overlooked when it comes to the job search.

The City of Ottawa is currently recruiting public health nurses, public health inspectors and other health professionals, including epidemiologists, nutritionists and dietitians.

“The majority of our technical positions, such as public health nurses, public health inspectors and nutritionists, are hard-to-fill skill sets,” said Jamie Jones, program manager, business practices for the city’s public health unit.

“There is a national and even an international shortage for nurses and public health inspectors,” said Jones. “There’s turnover, of course, but some people are retiring and others are moving on to other opportunities.”

Ottawa Public Health, which has 475 full-time equivalent employees, “also has a workforce that is steadily aging,” she said. “We have to be proactive and get our face out there.”

Ottawa Public Health actively recruits across the country for public health inspectors. Locally, it works closely with the University of Ottawa’s nursing programs to build more information about public health practice into the curriculum.

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