TORONTO, May 14, 2009 – As a new report offers more evidence that a critical shortage of nurses is looming, Ontario nurses are promoting the profession in a public awareness campaign they hope will draw more people into nursing.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), in collaboration with the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, is running a poster campaign during National Nursing Week (May 11- 17th) to share with the public that nursing is a great career choice. More than 1,700 posters will be displayed on Toronto Transit Commission subway cars and buses, GO trains and billboards around the province. The posters feature real nurses who work in all sectors of health-care from public health and primary care, to home care, hospitals, palliative care and long-term care.
Wendy Fucile, President of RNAO says the report, released earlier this week by the Canadian Nurses Association, underscores the need for everyone from government to employers to look for solutions that will ensure Canadians have access to nurses when they need them.
The CNA predicts that Canada will be short 60,000 RNs by 2022. While the shortage is a serious issue that needs addressing, Fucile says one silver lining is the richness of opportunity that nursing represents as a potential career. “There are so many areas to explore for people considering nursing, from working in the emergency room or a surgical unit to working in rehab, teaching or conducting research.”
RPNAO’s Executive Director, Dianne Martin, says the campaign is also an appeal to nurses already in the profession. “It’s true we’re trying to attract more people to nursing, but we also want those already working as nurses, whether they’ve been in their role for two years or for 20, to know that we appreciate their clinical knowledge and the commitment they show towards patients.”
RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun says the campaign will also get the public thinking about the critical role nurses play across the health-care system. “Whether as front-line providers or administrators, the health system can’t function without nurses. That is why we urge Premier McGuinty to fund the 3,000 additional nurses needed in Ontario this year,” Grinspun says, adding that, “nurses are vital to improve access and reduce wait times.”
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.
The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) is the professional association representing registered practical nurses in Ontario, since 1958. RPNAO is “dedicated to quality driven decisions that enhance professional practical nursing.”