Nurses launch provincial public awareness campaign for Nursing Week May 10-16
TORONTO, May 7, 2004 – As National Nursing Week nears, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), in collaboration with the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), will launch a public awareness campaign to highlight the urgent need to improve elder health and elder care in our communities.
Transit and newspaper advertising will begin this weekend featuring real-life photographs of healthy, active and independent seniors who enjoy such things as gardening, cycling, teaching Tai Chi and shopping at the market. The photographs also depict nurses caring for these seniors in times of need. RNAO president Joan Lesmond said, “The theme of the campaign, Nurses: Champions of Care, builds on the associations’ policy work and aims to recruit nurses to work with seniors.”
“While most seniors live healthy, active and independent lives,” said RPNAO president Mona Black, “Others look ahead to the day when programs that support seniors in the community are the norm, not just institutionalization.”
Lesmond said nurses are advocating for solutions to create solid and seamless community programs seniors can access and trust. “We must move forward with the development of a coherent framework and elder-care programs that the rest of Canada can look to for guidance,” she added.
“We want to refocus the debate away from how the aging population will bankrupt the health-care system and direct it to designing better ways to connect with, and care for, seniors in communities across Ontario,” said Black.
With more than 3.5 million people over the age of 65 in Canada, the need to build strong community-based programs that are responsive to the needs of older persons and that help them remain vibrant participants in our society has never been so pressing. According to RNAO and RPNAO, nurses have a vital role to play in shaping public policy and delivering services to best serve seniors.
The campaign, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), is part of the associations’ recruitment and retention strategy. Components of the campaign include:
More than 3,300 posters in TTC subway cars, buses, LRT, GO Trains, and in transit shelters across Ontario, reaching an audience of at least 65,824,000 over four weeks.
Four separate posters featuring real-life photographs of healthy, active and independent seniors – gardening, cycling, teaching Tai Chi and shopping at the market – accompanied by photographs of nurses caring for these seniors in times of need. (Visit www.rnao.ca  or www.rpnao.org  to view the posters.)
Half-page advertisements in 52 community newspapers (47 English, 5 French). Combined circulation: 597,685.
Advertisements in The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail in their special health-care/nursing sections (May 8 and May 10, respectively). Combined circulation: 1,611,785