Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Newsroom

Nursing leaders use annual fall tour to gear up for upcoming provincial election

2017-09-28

TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2017 – A provincial election may still be months away, however, two prominent nursing leaders are set to travel across Ontario to discuss the nursing and health issues members of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) believe should be front and centre once the campaign is underway.

President Carol Timmings and Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun will be visiting registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP) and nursing students in their respective communities next week (Oct. 2 – 6) to learn how health policy is affecting their everyday practice and the well-being of the populations they serve.

RNAO has been a vocal champion when it comes to social and environment determinants of health. Grinspun says nurses know all too well the effect poverty can have on a person’s health. “RNAO wants to make sure the minimum wage is increased to $15 per hour with no exceptions for age or sector of work. Affordable, accessible housing is also important for good health and the well-established connection between the environment and our health means we must take environmental protection seriously,” Grinspun says.

“When people are in need of care, they look to nurses,” says Timmings, noting that RNs and NPs work in all sectors of the health system and know the changes needed to improve access, to make the system more patient-centred and to improve efficiency. She says ensuring RNs and NPs are working to their full scope of practice, long advocated by RNAO, is crucial to improve access to health services and ensure health system effectiveness and sustainability. “Some barriers remain and we need to remove these.”

Also important is making sure there are enough RNs and NPs in key sectors such as primary care, home care, hospital care and long-term care. Timmings says significant improvements to the long-term care sector are also needed. “The science behind evidence-based practice is pretty clear and yet we know that nursing homes are being unfairly penalized for implementing practices that actually improve the health outcomes of their residents,” she says, insisting this has to change.

Grinspun says RNAO leaders will also use the fall tour to point out the dangerous trend of RN replacement. Ontario has the lowest RN to population ratio in the country. Yet based on evidence from RNAO’s comprehensive database 70 years of RN effectiveness, more than 95 per cent of 626 research studies demonstrate RNs have a positive impact on a wide variety of health outcomes, including reduced mortality, increased quality of care, increased patient satisfaction, and cost savings.

“We are eager to check in with nurses given the integral role they play in our health system and to hear about their moments of inspiration and challenges. Their voices must be heard,” says Grinspun.

Details of RNAO’s fall tour:
  • Windsor: Bacchus Ristorante, 614 Erie St. East, Monday, Oct. 2 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Owen Sound: Grey Bruce Health Unit, 101 17th Street East, Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
  • North Bay: Nipissing University (North Bay campus), Weaver Auditorium (room B200), 100 College Drive, Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 11 to 12:30 p.m.

RNAO President Carol Timmings and RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun will also be visiting Chatham, Kenora, and the region of Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk.

Members of the media are welcome to attend.

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the healthcare system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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To arrange an interview with a nurse, please contact:

Victoria Alarcon
Editorial Assistant, RNAO
416-408-5610
valarcon@RNAO.ca