08/20/2012 12:36 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Pilot Project To Increase Number of Nurses In Northern Alberta

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A nurse prepares medecine to treat patients with dengue disease at a hospital in Manila on August 14, 2012. Philippine authorities rushed relief supplies to the country's remote north in preparation for a new storm, which was also expected to dump heavy rain on other areas struggling with deadly floods. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/GettyImages)
HIGH LEVEL, Alta. - A new pilot project is trying to increase the number of nurses in northern Alberta by offering temporary assignments in various specialties.

The program is made possible by an agreement between Alberta Health Services and the United Nurses of Alberta.

Nurses can work on a temporary basis in communities including Fort Vermilion, La Crete, High Level, Paddle Prairie and Rainbow Lake.

Shelly Pusch, AHS senior vice-president for the north zone, says the program will ensure a pool of registered nurses is available to provide care when and where it's needed, especially in communities that experience difficulty recruiting health professionals.

The province says there will be "''significant benefits' for nurses who participate in the locums and also for those who already work for AHS in the north."

Postings for locum opportunities can be viewed at