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provincial principal investigators

Marie-Eve Poitras and

Christian Rochefort

Student: Andrée-Ann Rivard

study setting

Saguenay-Lac-Saint Jean


Quality of life at work, COVID-19, ministerial decree, human resources management, nurses

COVID-19 Pandemic: Analysis of the impact of
ministerial decree 2020-007 
on working conditions
and job satisfaction perceived by nurses
of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean



Following the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the appearance of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Government of Quebec had, in turn, to declare a state of health emergency. To this end, several ministerial decrees followed in order to ensure the safety and health of the population. However, Order 2020-007 has had a significant impact on the working conditions of Quebec nurses and their mental health. In order to ensure an adequate number of nursing staff in the various health institutions, this ministerial decree suspended the collective agreements of public employees.


Since its adoption, this document has authorized various administrative acts such as the postponement and cancellation of summer vacation, the transfer and delegation of employees to other assignments or centers of activity, the mandatory increase in full-time availability and more. Again.

These measures are unprecedented in the Quebec network. In order to better understand the impact of these measures, the purpose of this descriptive qualitative study is to  describe and understand the lived experience of nurses in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (SLSJ) at following the suspension of their collective agreement.

Specifically the research question will be; “How did the nurses of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean experience the application of Ministerial Order 2020-007? ".

What are our goals?

1) Explore the perceptions of SLSJ nurses regarding Ministerial Order 2020-007;


2) Describe the experience of SLSJ nurses following the application of this order;


3) Describe the impact of this stoppage on their working conditions and job satisfaction.

How are we going to proceed?

Using a feminist theoretical framework, our descriptive qualitative study will be designed to offer women, representing nearly 90% of the nursing workforce in Quebec, the opportunity to express their reality. From 15 to 20 nurses from various clinical sectors throughout the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region will be recruited by means of a convenience and then theoretical sampling. Three data collection methods will be used and triangulated:


1) Semi-directed interviews, lasting approximately one hour each, will be conducted with the participants.


2) The use of aPhotovoiceallow participants to identify a photo representing their perception and lived experience in connection with Order 2020-007;


3) The participants will then be invited to a focus group lasting approximately 90 minutes  in order to consolidate the concepts that emerged from the individual interviews and the Photovoice.  The photos collected during the PhotoVoice will also be revealed to the group in order to identify the personal and collective reflections conveyed by these images.


Using this strategy, the diversity and complementarity of the data collected will allow us to better understand and describe the experience of these nurses. 

What results do we hope to achieve?

The results will allow us to draw a portrait of the experiences of nurses in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean following the suspension of their collective agreement. Although to our knowledge, no study has looked into the phenomenon, experiential data from nurses who experienced the ministerial stoppage suggest that the measures have impacted different aspects of their personal and professional lives. The results of this study could contribute to the development of new human resources management strategies in times of health crisis, as well as to the improvement of the working conditions of nurses in Quebec.

Infographic of the project, presented as part of CIUSSS Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Research Day 2022

Arreté Ministériel.jpg
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