TORONTO, April 10, 2013 – More than 600 registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NP) and nursing students will mark achievements in health policy and clinical excellence when they gather in Toronto this week. The RNs are members of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) who are attending their professional association’s 88th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
“Our theme - Charting a course for the future of nursing - provides the perfect backdrop for RNs, NPs and nursing students to look at how far we have advanced as health-care professionals. We know we have to continue building the capacity of our profession so it meets the changing needs of our patients and the health system, while making full use of our expertise,” says Rhonda Seidman-Carlson, president of RNAO.
A key aspect of the association’s work will also be front and centre at the meeting. Since releasing its platform of health policy recommendations, Why Your Health Matters, at the end of January, RNAO members have met with more than 80 MPPs in their local ridings to share the association’s ideas on how to reduce poverty, secure more affordable housing, clean up the environment, strengthen the province’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health-care system and make sure 9,000 additional RNs are hired to ensure the best patient care.
Besides advocating for healthier public policies, RNAO is also using its AGM to mark a significant step in its clinical work. Earlier this year, premiers and territorial leaders from across Canada chose one of RNAO’s best practice guidelines for the Council of the Federation’s health- care working group on innovation. The clinical guideline on diabetic foot ulcers will be adopted by health systems across the country to improve patient care and lead to greater system efficiency and cost effectiveness. “We are extremely proud that a program led by Ontario nurses is having a positive influence on patients,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s Chief Executive Officer.
The three-day meeting will also feature speeches by Premier Kathleen Wynne, Health Minister Deb Matthews, PC leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
In addition to hearing from political leaders, RNs will take time to honour the significant achievements of their colleagues for contributions to nursing practice, research, administration and education. Journalists selected for excellence in health-care reporting will also be recognized.
RNAO’s AGM begins Thursday evening, April 11, and continues to Saturday, April 13 at the Toronto Hilton, 145 Richmond Street West in Toronto, Ontario.
Thursday, April 11, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.:
• Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
• Tim Hudak, PC Leader
• Andrea Horwath, NDP Leader
• David Benton, Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Nurses
• Barb Mildon, President, Canadian Nurses Association
• RNAO’s Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) ceremony to mark the program’s 10th anniversary
Friday, April 12, 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.:
• RNAO’s Doris Grinspun delivers her CEO Report at 8:45 a.m.
• Premier Kathleen Wynne addresses nurses at 11:30 a.m.
• RNAO’s Rhonda Seidman-Carlson delivers her President’s Report at 4:00 p.m.
• Presentation of Nursing Awards throughout the day
• Presentation of Media Awards at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 13, 11:30 a.m.:
• RNs Olga Muir and Nancy Purdy discuss the importance of leadership in nursing
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses 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.