TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2007 – Ontario nurses praise today’s announcement by the provincial government to guarantee full-time employment to every new nursing graduate, beginning immediately.
“This is outstanding news for nurses who are just starting their careers,” says Mary Ferguson-Paré, president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). “It sends a clear message to graduates that the government is committed to them and wants them to use their knowledge, skills and compassion to take care of people here at home.”
James Chu, president of the Nursing Students of Ontario (NSO), an RNAO interest group that represents more than 2,500 nursing students in the province, says today’s announcement is welcome news for all new and future nursing graduates in Ontario. “Students now know that Ontario is committed to help us secure full-time jobs,” says Chu, a new grad himself. “Let’s hope that all new and future graduates will take advantage of this dynamic initiative in settings all across the province.”
The initiative, which provides $89 million in funding this year for up to 4,000 nursing graduates and multi-year funding thereafter, is something RNAO has been advocating for several years. “We’re delighted that the government recognizes the importance of finding home-grown solutions because this, along with other measures such as the Late Career Initiative, is how we can work together to ensure there are enough nurses to care for Ontarians today and in the years to come,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s executive director. “Ontario has the real potential to become the first North American jurisdiction to make the nursing shortage history,” she adds.
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.