Nearly 2,000 Ontario Nurses Work in Michigan

  • New research by shows nearly 2,000 Ontario nurses regularly commute to work in Michigan’s health care sector

CALGARY, AB: released a new report today that calculated there are an estimated 1,887 Ontario nurses who regularly commute to Michigan for work. This represents a significant opportunity for public and private health care providers in Ontario to recruit staff.

After obtaining contact information for 3,016 licensed nurses in Michigan with Ontario mailing addresses, surveyed them to determine how many actually live in Ontario and work in Michigan. Findings from the research showed 1,887 Ontario nurses regularly commute to Michigan for work.

“There’s a big opportunity for government-run hospitals to improve and convince some of these nurses to work in the public system, but new private surgical clinics can also give these workers more choices in terms of where to work,” said President Colin Craig. “Compensation was a factor for why many nurses decided to work in Ontario, but a majority couldn’t find the type of work they were looking for or didn’t like the working conditions.” 

The survey was conducted between February 25 to March 5, 2023 and 462 nurses responded for a margin of error of ±4.2%. Findings from the research include:

  • 3,016 Ontario nurses currently have active nursing licenses in Michigan. Approximately 63% (1,887) of those nurses currently work in Michigan. Many of the others have retired or currently work in Ontario.
  • 8.2% (248) of the nurses indicated they would like to work in the U.S. in the future.
  • The most common reasons why Ontario nurses indicated they decided to work in Michigan were: “availability of work” (30%) followed by “compensation” (25%) and “working conditions” (23%). Many noted they were seeking full-time positions while only part-time positions were available in Ontario. 
  • The most common reasons why these nurses might consider working in Canada include: if they were offered better compensation (68%), better scheduling options (49%) and working conditions (27%). (This question was open-ended so some participants noted multiple reasons.) 

While the Windsor Regional Hospital has recently implemented signing bonuses to attract nurses, these results clearly show that there’s much more to the problem than money.

“We’re looking into how many Canadian nurses and doctors currently work in other states along the border,” added Craig. “I suspect there is a sizeable opportunity for government hospitals and private clinics in Canada to convince more health care workers to work in our country instead of crossing the border.”

To view Policy Brief: Nearly 2,000 Ontario Nurses Working in Michiganclick here.

To download the survey results – click here. 

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