Nurses launch public awareness campaign to promote the profession
Toronto, May 7, 2008 - Ontario nurses will be hard pressed to meet the public’s health-care needs unless efforts are made to retain nurses at work and draw more people into the profession.
As National Nursing Week draws near, 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 will launch a public awareness campaign to convince more people that nursing is the best career choice.
Given the average age of Ontario’s nursing workforce is 45.9 for RNs and 44.9 for RPNs, the need to recruit future generations of nurses has never been more important. With thousands of nurses eligible to retire in the next decade, Ontario could face a significant shortage unless the province can retain its nurses longer and attract more people to the profession.
RNAO and RPNAO say those numbers mean the nursing profession is at a critical stage. There is a shortage in the province and the health-care needs of people are ongoing. “We have to stop and ask ourselves: ‘what would we do without nurses?’ Communities across Ontario are going to great lengths to woo doctors, but the reality is we need nurses -- and many of them -- if we are going to ensure the kind of care that people across this province need, expect and deserve,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s Executive Director.
RPNAO’s Executive Director, Dianne Martin, says the campaign is also an appeal to nurses already in the profession. “We want all nurses to know that the public values the work that you do. We need you now more than ever to help keep people healthy, and to care for them when they’re sick.”