Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Nurses advocate for much-needed change at RNAO’s 93rd AGM

Celebrating the theme Powering Nursing to Advance Health, more than 700 RNs, NPs and nursing students attended RNAO’s 93rd Annual General Meeting. The event, which took place in Toronto April 19-21, gave members a chance to reflect on the past year’s achievements in nursing and engage with political and nursing leaders about what else needs to be done to improve the health of Ontarians and their health system.

The three-day event featured speeches from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and parliamentary assistant to the health minister John Fraser. In his speech, Fraser spoke about a number of issues including investing $2.3 million dollars over three years for a wound care centre of excellence (of which RNAO is a lead organization), $4.9 million dollars for critical care training for nurses and $750,000 dollars towards the co-creation of an RNAO program that will offer pre and postnatal care for Indigenous women in communities affected by tobacco use.

The premier added that the province is focusing on commitments featured in the March budget, including increased funding for the hospital sector, an expansion of mental health and addiction services, and the promise to hire an additional RN in every long-term care (LTC) home in the province. The promise to hire additional RNs in LTC homes is welcome news and begins to address a staffing recommendation RNAO first made in 2016 when it released its Mind the safety gap report.

Horwath shared part of her party’s election platform, including a promise to double the annual funding for First Nations housing and to build 30,000 supportive housing units, if elected. She also promised to ensure every person in Ontario has dental coverage.

Invitations were also extended to PC Leader Doug Ford and PC Health Critic Jeff Yurek. In the end, no one from the party attended. Please watch RNAO’s CEO Doris Grinspun’s response to this as well as her response to Ford’s stance on supervised injection services (SIS) on CP24.

Other AGM highlights included the Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) designation ceremony for 14 health-care and academic organizations, the swearing-in ceremony of new RNAO President Angela Cooper Brathwaite, and a keynote panel discussion on the legalization of cannabis and what it means for nursing practice in the future.

If you missed the AGM, you can watch portions of it on the association's YouTube page or view a slideshow of memories captured during the event.

For more information about the achievements of the past year, you can also read our annual report.

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