Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Ten years on, Nurse Practitioners have improved health care in Ontario

2007-10-31
TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2007 – Nurse practitioners from across the province are gathering in Hamilton this week to celebrate a decade of providing Ontarians with better access to health care.

“Nurse practitioners (NPs) bring health care to patients everywhere in Ontario. The conference will give us a chance to share our many success stories with Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman,” says Pamela Pogue, president of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO), an interest group of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. NPAO represents nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses. “Nurse practitioners, working in collaboration with physicians and other health care providers, will continue to ensure improved access to primary health care and reduce surgical wait times,” Pogue adds.

In 1997, Ontario changed the Nursing Act to regulate the nurse practitioner role in primary health care. This year, further changes were made to include adult, pediatrics and anaesthesia nurse practitioner specialties. Nurse practitioners have the knowledge and skills to provide health-care to keep families healthy, treat people when ill and help them manage chronic conditions. They are registered nurses with advanced education and decision-making knowledge in assessment, diagnosis, and health-care management. NPs are regulated by the College of Nurses of Ontario, and have the legislative authority to treat common illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications, order lab tests, diagnostic imaging such as X-rays and MRI’s, and other tests. Nurse practitioners work in their own clinics, in family health teams, community health centres and other primary health-care settings. They also work in specialized hospital inpatient and outpatient programs, emergency departments, long-term care facilities, community care access centres, correctional facilities and colleges and universities.

“By bringing their knowledge and leadership to health-care teams, nurse practitioners are making sure people get timely access to the health care they need and deserve,” says Doris Grinspun, executive director of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, which is co-hosting the conference. “NPs are the key to unlocking the system and ensuring that no Ontarian fears being deprived of access to primary health care or long wait times for surgical procedures.”

WHAT: Nurse Practitioners Celebrate: Shaping and Promoting the Role. Tenth Annual Nurse Practitioner Conference hosted by the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

WHO: More than 500 nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses. Minister of Health and Long Term Care, George Smitherman, will attend on Friday, Nov. 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: Hamilton Convention Centre, 1 Summers Lane, Hamilton

WHEN: Nov. 1-4, 2007

The Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO), an interest group of RNAO, represents the professional interests of all NPs in Ontario. NPAO advocates for accessible, high-quality health care for Ontarians through the integration of NPs across the health-care system.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

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For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605
mzych@rnao.org

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