TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2004 - Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning made nursing history today by becoming the first nursing school to fully subsidize memberships in the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) for all of its full-time Bachelor of Nursing students – more than 700 - bringing the total number of student RNAO members to over 2,200.
“Humber College has set an important precedent today,” said RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun. “It is our hope that other institutions will follow its lead and help students acquire the professional skills and development they will need in the future. Ontario will lose nearly 10,000 nurses to retirement or death by 2006; there has never been a more urgent time to develop our future leaders to ensure high quality patient care.”
“Nurses play an extremely important role in our health-care system, and we need to ensure they have their professional association’s support to excel under sometimes strenuous circumstances,” said Dr. Robert Gordon, president of Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “Humber applauds RNAO’s efforts to secure full-time employment for new graduates, and recognizes the importance a strong membership base plays in achieving that goal.”
RNAO membership automatically guarantees students membership in the Nursing Students of Ontario (NSO), a student-led RNAO interest group that advocates for health and nursing through political action, professionalism and research.
“This is a fantastic initiative for NSO and Humber students,” said NSO president Michael Garreau. “We look forward to working with our new members to ensure their voices are heard.”
Students can join RNAO for just $20, which includes full membership in the association of more than 20,000 registered nurses. Membership brings access to political influence, career fairs, career counselling, professional development, the award winning Registered Nurse Journal, and RNAO’s complete collection of best practice guidelines.
“I am pleased to welcome these students to the RNAO family,” said RNAO president Joan Lesmond. “Membership in RNAO and NSO signals to fellow students, faculty and future employers that students are committed to their profession.”
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.