TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2012 – A set of recommendations guaranteed to deliver better access to nursing care, improved health outcomes for patients and cost savings for tax payers will be the focus of an all day meeting taking place this week at Queen’s Park.
One hundred and fifty registered nurses (RNs) and nursing students will bring that message to the Ontario legislature on Thursday (March 1) when they join the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) 13th Annual Day at Queen’s Park.
RNAO’s meeting comes on the heels of the release of the Drummond report and just weeks away from an Ontario budget. “This is the perfect opportunity to talk about the decisions we need to make as a province to ensure the public gets timely and quality access to health care and how we can strengthen our publicly funded, not-for-profit health-care system by taking advantage of the knowledge and skills of nurses,” says RNAO president David McNeil.
“Don Drummond was clear. He thinks nurses need to be better utilized throughout the system and we couldn’t agree more. We are coming to Queen’s Park to build on this report because it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure Ontario’s nurses are working to their full potential,” says RNAO’s executive director Doris Grinspun, adding that “the daylong meeting gives nurses a platform to share their day to day work experiences and the changes they believe will benefit the system and their patients.”
Nurses will hear speeches and take part in a question and answer session with Ontario’s Health Minister Deb Matthews, as well as the leaders of the two opposition parties. RNAO members will also take part in small group meetings with 70 MPPs and cabinet ministers, as well as sit in the public gallery during question period.
RNAO president David McNeil and executive director Doris Grinspun
150 RN leaders and nursing students
Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care will speak at 9 a.m.
Question period 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon.
Tim Hudak, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and PC Health Critic Elizabeth Witmer, will speak at 2:45 p.m.
Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party, will speak at 3:30 p.m.
70 MPPs will participate in this year’s event. They’ll meet with the RNs in small group sessions.
RNAO’s 13th Annual Day at Queen’s Park
Thursday, March 1, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Queen’s Park, Main Legislative Building, Committee Room 228, Toronto (2nd floor) ***session runs from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Delta Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street, Toronto (Mountbatten Ballroom) ***session runs from 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
The association’s gathering at Queen’s Park is open to the media. For more information, reporters can refer to the day’s agenda.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated 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.
For more information about RNAO, visit our website at www.rnao.ca . You can also check out our Facebook page at www.rnao.ca/facebook  and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rnao .