Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


New guideline to help nurses create stronger workplaces and provide better patient care


TORONTO, March 23, 2006 – The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) will launch its latest resource to help improve working conditions for nurses at an annual conference for Ontario’s nursing leaders on Friday.

Irmajean Bajnok, director of the RNAO Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence and program director of the healthy work environments project team, says the Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership guideline provides health-care organizations with the latest research and recommendations on how their workplaces can become models of effective leadership that will enable nurses to provide safe, quality care.

“We are very confident that all nurses, wherever they work, will find this guideline extremely useful,” Bajnok says.

“Our health-care system is always changing, and organizations are under tremendous pressure to keep up. To do that, they need to make sure they are working closely with their nurses,” says Donna Tucker, staff support for the leadership guideline.

“The release of this guideline marks an important step for health-care organizations,” says Bajnok. “Using the best available evidence to create workplaces that nurses and others can be proud of will not only improve patient care, but it will retain and attract nurses and other professionals, a critical part of decreasing wait times and improving access to health services.” Bajnok says the guidelines are applicable to any sectors where nurses work, including hospitals, home care, and long-term care.

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Health Canada, Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership is the first of six guidelines that will be released throughout 2006 by RNAO’s Healthy Work Environments Best Practice Guidelines Program. Six panels of expert nurses from across Canada are working on topics including: staffing and workload; professionalism; collaborative practice; workplace health, safety and well being; and embracing cultural diversity in health care.

“Nursing leadership is critical in today’s radically restructured health-care system. New demands require new leadership strategies so nurses can provide professional nursing care that will optimize a patient’s health outcomes and provide nurses with a sense of professional satisfaction,” says Heather Laschinger, a University of Western Ontario nursing professor and a top researcher who led the group of RNs who developed the guideline. Laschinger says the guideline uses five-evidence based leadership practices including: building relationships and trusts; creating empowering work environments; leading and sustaining change; and balancing competing values and priorities.

According to Kim Cook, president of the Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario, which is hosting the conference, strengthening nursing leadership is an essential part of creating positive work environments. She calls this guideline an inspiration for nursing leaders of today and tomorrow. In addition to the guideline’s launch, the conference will also look at how nursing leaders in different health sectors are navigating change to improve patient care.


  • RNAO and Nursing Leadership Network members from across Ontario


  • Launch of RNAO Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership Healthy Work Environment Best Practice Guideline and 27th annual Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario conference, Defining our Future.


  • Westin Prince Hotel, 900 York Mills Rd., Toronto, Ontario


  • 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Friday, March 24
    The Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership guideline will be launched at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605