Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO says replacing registered nurses runs counter to decades of evidence


TORONTO, May 3, 2017, While Ontario registered nurses (RN) are being replaced by less qualified health professionals, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is releasing a comprehensive publicly accessible database of evidence showing how RNs save lives, save money, and improve the patient experience.

70 years of RN effectiveness will be launched on May 8 at Queen's Park. The product of a scoping review of seven decades of research, the comprehensive database features more than 600 peer-reviewed studies which show how integral RNs are at every level of the health system.

"These findings are all the more important when you consider the dwindling rates of RNs in Ontario," says RNAO President Carol Timmings. "Given the overwhelming evidence on the positive impact of RNs, how can our system afford to lose them?"

Timmings is referring to a recent trend where health organizations are replacing RNs with other health workers, who aren't equipped to care for the province's most complex and fragile patients. As identified in RNAO's 2016 Mind the safety gap in health system transformation: Reclaiming the role of the RN report, this has contributed to Ontario having the lowest RN-to-population ratio in Canada. The province needs at least 17,000 more RNs just to catch up with the rest of the country.

"It is shameful Ontario has fallen so far behind, but it's not too late to reverse this trend," says RNAO Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun. "The evidence in this database should be an invaluable tool for provincial policy-makers as they restore the RN workforce, and build a stronger health system for Ontarians."


  • Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)


  • Releasing a comprehensive database of 70 years of evidence about RN effectiveness


  • Monday, May 8 at 9:30 a.m.


  • Media Studio, Queen's Park, 111 Wellesley St. W.

Members of the media are invited to attend.

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students 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 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


For more information or to interview a nurse, please contact:

Daniel Punch
Communications Officer/Writer, RNAO
416-208-5606/1-800-268-7199, ext. 250