Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Sounding the alarm - RN to population numbers continue to drop

RNAO has long advocated for the right amount of registered nurses to ensure people get the care they need.

That’s why we are concerned about Ontario’s RN-to-population ratio. It’s the second lowest in the country (B.C. has the worst) and continues to drop. A new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information bears this out.

In 2008, the number of RNs per 1,000 people was 7.18. By 2012, that number dropped to 6.99 per 1,000 people.

Ontario’s slide is lower than the national average, which is now at 8.30 RNs per 1,000 people.

This news isn’t good for patient care because all the evidence points to the link between directs hours of RN care and positive health outcomes. It’s also bad news for RNs because it leads to burnout and stress.

RNAO wants swift action and funding. To facilitate this action, we are mobilizing members through our Queen's Park on the Road (QPOR) campaign.

Through the QPOR, members meet with MPPs from all political parties to explain positions that improve access to nursing services, including the RN-to-population ratio to ensure the best care is being delivered to Ontarians.