In 2001, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) decided it was time to demonstrate to elected representatives what is was really like to work as a registered nurse on the front line in health care.
As part of Nursing Week celebrations, RNAO invited the three political party leaders to go to work with a registered nurse to see first-hand, the skills and expertise required to provide important health care services to Ontarians every day. This on-the-job experience allowed politicians to better understand the breadth and depth of nursing practice across diverse workplaces in the province. Seeing their politicians at work, allowed RNAO members to better understand the complex and competing politicians must deal with.
From that humble beginning in 2001, Take your MPP to Work™ Event has grown to an annual, popular political engagement activity for RNAO members and MPPs alike. Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leaders, MPs, City Councillors and even LHIN representatives have gone to work in hospitals, community health centres, nurse practitioner-led clinics, family health teams, long-term care homes, public health units, post-secondary institutions, and even street health settings. In 2013, 66 MPPs participated in 68 site visits right across Ontario. In every part of the province, in every type of health care setting, RNAO members demonstrated the opportunities and challenges of providing health care to patients and their families.