Continuing the Conversation: An Open Forum for Nurses

Oct 13, 2021, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
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About this Event:

RNAO is aware nurses across Ontario – especially those working on the frontlines of COVID-19 – are experiencing tremendous levels of physical and emotional stress and burnout. We know this can affect your mental health and wellbeing at this challenging time and that you may have less time to devote to your own self care.

During these forums, RNAO facilitates open discussions and holds breakout sessions for participants to discuss themes identified in the previous forums, such as dealing with multiple losses, taking care of yourself, burnout and more.

All RNs, NPs, RPNs and nursing students – in all roles and sectors – are invited to participate. You may wish to share how things are going for you or you can simply join and listen in.

Visit our COVID-19 Portal for additional resources and information on psychosocial support.

Next session:

Details to come soon. 

    Past sessions:

    Oct. 13, 2021, 2:30 - 4 p.m. ET

    Topic: Nursing student transitions into the workplace part 2: International perspectives

    COVID-19 has disrupted nursing education worldwide, and new graduates are entering the workforce at a critical time in history for health care. During this webinar, we heard how the pandemic is affecting nursing students, new graduates and faculty from Brazil, Qatar, Jamaica and Chile. 

    This conversation built on the dynamic discussion we hosted in August with an Ontario panel. It helped participants identify similarities, differences and potential strategies to ensure the next generation of nurses thrive in the profession.

    Discussion questions included the following:

    • What has it been like being a nursing student during this time? What are your hopes, needs and concerns? 
    • What is required to support students in their final year as they transition into the workforce so they have an exciting and long career in nursing?

    Aug. 18, 2021, 2:30 – 4 p.m. ET

    Topic: Nursing student transitions into the workplace: Experiences and supports

    COVID-19 has disrupted nursing education. Hands-on clinical placements have been replaced by simulation, in-class learning has gone virtual and students are completing their education at a time when all energy is focused on the global pandemic. Thousands of Ontario nursing students will be entering the nursing workforce at a critical time in history for health care: one where structural inequities and system failures have been brought to the spotlight, and where nurses, exhausted from relentless waves of the pandemic, are facing burnout and considering leaving the profession in larger numbers than usual. However, the pandemic has also raised the centrality of our profession and reinforced that without nurses the health-care system will collapse. RNAO issued a call to ensure the next generation of nurses thrive in the profession. 

    During this heart-to-heart nursing forum, nursing students, new grads and educators discussed the following questions: 

    What has it been like being a nursing student during this time? What are your hopes, needs and concerns?
    What is required to support students in their final year as they transition into the workforce so they have an exciting and long career in nursing?

    June 16, 2021, 2:30 4 p.m. ET

    Topic: Powering nurses' health by advocating for change: Nurses and nursing students speaking up and out

    Throughout the pandemic, more and more nurses are speaking out about the realities of their workplace and the impact it is having on their patients and their own lives. The voice of nurses is being heard and acted upon. COVID-19 has awakened nurses who want to build their skills and confidence to advocate publicly for positive change. 

    In this session of our heart-to-heart conversation, RNAO and members who have become vocal and active in mainstream and social media share their journey, some best practices and top tips.  We taught participants how to set up a Twitter feed, the first step in amplifying nurses' voices. 

    May 26, 2021

    This edition of our heart-to-heart discussion with Ontario nurses continued the conversation of nurse wellness in the province and beyond our borders.

    We provided an overview of the three nursing surveys that serve as the foundation of our nurse wellness program.

    Complete the cross-Canada COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Survey.

    May 12, 2021, 3 4:30 p.m. ET

    Topic: What concrete initiatives are required to retain nurses through COVID-19 and beyond? 

    RNAO recognizes that these past 15 months of the pandemic have been grueling for nurses. Our Work and Wellbeing Survey results showed that 13 per cent of RNs and NPs aged 26-35 are likely to leave the profession once the pandemic is over. We cannot let this happen!

    On Wednesday, May 12 – Florence Nightingale’s birthday, we are focusing our conversation on initiatives to be undertaken to retain RNs and NPs in the profession. We are inviting politicians to join the conversation to hear directly from nurses about what they need to thrive in the profession. 

    April 28, 2021

    Topic: National Day of Mourning and a discussion on the new regulations from the College of Nurses of Ontario

    April 14, 2021

    March 31, 2021

    Topic: RNAO’s work & wellbeing survey: Media conference to release the survey results and open forum for nurses to share how they're feeling during COVID-19

    We released the report on the results of RNAO's work and wellbeing survey during a media conference and hold our regular forum with nurses. Read our media advisory and media release.


    • 2 – 3 p.m. ET: Media conference 
    • 3 – 4 p.m. ET: Forum with nurses


    March 17, 2021

    Topic: RNAO's nurse wellness survey results: Implications and recommendations for next steps

    RNAO’s work and wellbeing survey asked RNs, NPs and nursing students in Ontario how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and the best way RNAO can continue to support Ontario’s nursing community. 


    • Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO
    • Matthew Kellway, Director of Nursing and Health Policy

    March 3, 2021

    Topic: Burnout among nurses


    • Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO
    • Debra Lefebvre, Mental Health Specialist 

    Feb. 17, 2021

    On Feb. 3, RNAO hosted its first open forum with over 100 participants and heard firsthand how nurses are feeling during COVID-19. Feedback on the first forum was very positive – participants felt supported, more connected and took away new resources and coping strategies. 
    We continued the conversation on Wednesday, Feb. 17. This time, we hosted breakout sessions to provide more opportunities to discuss the following themes identified in the first forum:

    • dealing with multiple losses;
    • time out from COVID – learning to let go;
    • taking care of yourself; and
    • organizational support for well-being.

    Feb. 3, 2021

    The first open forum session featuring facilitator RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun. 

    Cost for Members: 
    $0.00 CAD
    Cost for non-Members: 
    $0.00 CAD
    Related Documents:
    HELP_LINES_2021.pdf618.99 KB
    Report: Work and Wellbeing Survey Results808.02 KB