RNAO Fall Tour: Building a vibrant nursing profession that benefits all Ontarians

Oct. 12, 2023

An upcoming Fall Tour featuring leaders from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) will spotlight how a strong and vibrant nursing workforce is necessary for a well-functioning health system and healthy population.

Between Oct. 16 and 26, RNAO’s President Dr. Claudette Holloway, President-Elect NP Lhamo Dolkar and CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun will be connecting with members and non-members across the province virtually and in-person.

“This year, we are celebrating our ninth annual Fall Tour and it comes at a time when nurses are needed more than ever,” says Holloway. “And yet, over the past three years, nurses have been providing care while experiencing burnout and dealing with staffing shortages. They haven’t felt valued or respected. We have an opportunity to demonstrate their value and build back our profession so it acts as a magnet for the next generation.”

In March, RNAO released a new report – Nursing Career Pathways – which shared the current state of nursing in Ontario: vacancies have grown and many nurses have either left Ontario or profession all together. One of the reasons they are leaving is compensation. The 11 per cent wage increase granted to hospital nurses by an arbitrator is a good stepping stone according to RNAO, however, much more must be done to keep nurses in Ontario’s workforce. An earlier report about nurse practitioners (NPs), Vision for Tomorrow, also says increased utilization of NPs in Ontario’s health system is long overdue, and calls for increased supply, utilization and scope.

RNAO’s report highlights how “nurses are the backbone of our health system and must be recognized and appreciated for their essential work. This tour will focus on the importance of nursing and how the government can improve nursing retention and recruitment,” says Dolkar, adding that “providing competitive compensation across all roles and sectors, ensuring safe workloads and healthy work environments and a focus on full-time employment, mentorship and other workplace supports will go a long way towards making nurses feel heard.” 

During the Fall Tour, RNAO leaders will continue to emphasize the social and environmental determinants of health, such as access to housing, a livable wage, a thriving educational system, and dignified social support for vulnerable people, including raising the rates of the Ontario Disability Support Program. A focus will be the urgent need for action on the climate emergency and how health-care professionals can respond at the individual, professional and political levels. The success of RNAO’s ever growing Best Practice Spotlight Organization® program, which marks 20 years of operation this year will also take centre stage.  

Throughout the multiple arenas of the association’s work, RNAO continues to recognize and celebrate the diversity in the nursing profession. In our discussions with members, we will emphasize how equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) cut across all areas of work. The association remains dedicated to empowering its members from different communities and health sectors. It brings members’ voices, perspectives and experiences to the forefront and mobilizes action to improve health care for all.

“As the association for more than 50,400 nurses, we look forward to hearing from members in different communities across the province and how we can continue to grow nursing as a career and inspire future nurses,” says Grinspun. “It is clear that with a stronger nursing workforce, Ontarians will reap the benefit of better health outcomes and a better health system.”

Details of RNAO’s Fall Tour:

  • Kawartha-Victoria Chapter – Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Nursing Students of Ontario – Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Region 1, Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives’ Group and Nursing Research Interest Group – Oct. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Lakehead Chapter – Oct. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET - register online
  • International Nursing Interest Group, Region 8 (including Durham, Kawartha-Victoria, and Quinte Chapters) and Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group – Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET – register online
  • Mississauga Chapter, Staff Nurse Interest Group and Brampton Chapter– Oct. 19 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. ET – register online
  • Region 7 (Toronto East) – Oct. 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. ET - register online
  • Kingston Chapter – Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Waterloo Chapter – Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Middlesex-Elgin Chapter – Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET - register online
  • Algoma Chapter – Oct. 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. ET - register online
  • Lanark-Leeds-Grenville Chapter – Oct. 25 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. ET - register online
                                                                       – Oct. 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET - register online

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (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 system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on X (formerly Twitter)Facebook and Instagram.

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Contact info

Victoria Alarcon
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)