TORONTO, May 3, 2013 – Political leaders from across Ontario will be heading to public health units, community health centres, hospitals, nursing homes and even people’s homes in an effort to better understand the vital role this province’s registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP) play in our cities and towns.
More than 50 members of provincial parliament (MPP) are dedicating time throughout Nursing Week 2013 to learn more about nurses’ responsibilities, including: providing care for the sick and elderly, focusing on health promotion to keep clients healthier, longer, and managing and preventing patients’ chronic disease symptoms. Visits scheduled across the province are part of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) annual Take Your MPP to Work event, a 13-year-old tradition that allows politicians to shadow nurses on the job.
Politicians will learn more about how RNs help to improve their patients’ health outcomes and quality of life by providing expert, knowledge-based, client-centred care fuelled by evidence, skills, compassion and dedication.
RNAO President Rhonda Seidman-Carlson says Take Your MPP to Work gives nurses and politicians a chance to discuss issues and successes related to both the profession and the health-care system. The tours also help MPPs better comprehend the obstacles nurses face. “This is the perfect opportunity for politicians to step away from Queen’s Park to truly grasp the day-to-day realities of practising as a registered nurse in Ontario,” Seidman-Carlson says, adding “MPPs will leave with a better understanding of the quality care RNs provide, and the impact they have on patient and community health outcomes.”
RNAO’s Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun says the initiative’s success can be attributed to the growing number of participating nurses and politicians. “The health-care landscape in this province – indeed, in Canada – is always evolving, which is why Take Your MPP to Work remains a critical event in terms of engaging with top decision-makers and highlighting opportunities nurses know will lead to improvements in system effectiveness.”
Highlights of Take Your MPP to Work include:
• Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader, will visit Rouge Valley Health System in Ajax on Wednesday, May 8 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
• Christine Elliott, MPP for Whitby-Oshawa, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Deputy Leader and Health Critic, will attend a breakfast at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby on Friday, May 10 at 7 a.m. Also in attendance are: Liberal MPP Tracy MacCharles, Liberal MPP Joe Dickson, PC MPP Jerry Ouellette and PC MPP John O'Toole.
• France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and NDP Health Critic, will visit Thunder Bay’s Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic on Wednesday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. RNAO’s Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun will accompany Gélinas on this tour. Gélinas and Grinspun will also make a stop at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre at 12:30 p.m. on this date.
• France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and NDP Health Critic, will visit Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre on Wednesday, May 22 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Over 50 politicians will join RNs during their rounds. For a complete list of all the visits, which will be updated throughout Nursing Week (May 6-12), visit: http://nursingweek.RNAO.ca/take-your-mpp-to-work 
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) 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.