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Nov. 30, 2023

RNAO’s ongoing media profile: The November 2023 report

media profile

This month, RNAO was featured in media stories related to the announcement that RNs in Ontario will be able to prescribe as of January, Bayshore HealthCare’s re-designation as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®), and the push for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) to divest any and all its fossil fuel holdings.

On Nov. 6, Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced that RNs will soon be able to independently prescribe medications – a move RNAO has called for since 2012. In a media release, RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun said “We know RNs can unlock delays in the health system and the authority to prescribe is one more barrier that is being removed.” Beginning in January 2024, RNs can undergo additional training at select colleges and universities to expand their practice to include prescribing. RNAO President Dr. Claudette Holloway told 610 CKTB (Nov. 8) that this will provide accessible and timely health care. “I think our public can be fully relieved to know that they have educated professionals who will be delivering this care,” said Holloway. Grinspun echoed this sentiment, telling the Toronto Star (Nov. 7), that RNAO is now urging to integrate prescribing competencies into the BScN education given that 5,000 BScN students graduate each year “with RNs graduating with this competency, it will transform the system overnight. We can get ahead of the curve and free up NPs and physicians for more complex prescriptions,” adding that ”We are asking that within 2024, this become integrated so when nurses graduate in June, all of them come with this legislative authority to service Ontarians better,” Grinspun told AM800 (Nov. 6).

Bayshore HealthCare, a home and community health provider, recently celebrated its re-designation as a BPSO. In a media release (Nov. 13), Grinspun said “We are proud of Bayshore for their consistent commitment to providing high quality, evidence-based home care.” Learn more about RNAO’s BPSO program online.

In September, RNAO sent a letter to HOOPP, a pension plan that represents nurses and other health workers in the hospital and community-based health-care sector, urging them to stop any new investments in fossil fuels and to get rid of all their existing fossil fuel holdings by 2025 to fund a just and sustainable future, not climate disruption. Grinspun told The Energy Mix (Nov. 20) that HOOPP is a “tragically literal example of investing in one’s own demise.” In RNAO’s letter, Grinspun and Holloway applauded HOOPP’s commitment to put $23 billion into accredited green investments by 2030 but said that the fossil fuel shares they currently have are “at odds with RNAO members’ professional values and our commitment to serve the public as the first mandate of health professionals is ‘do no harm.’”

The climate emergency was also mentioned in an op-ed (Hamilton Spectator, Nov. 26) by  Grinspun, which called on the federal government to do more to address oil and gas emissions. “There is no path for Canada to meet its commitments and pledges without commensurate cuts to the oil and gas sector,” Grinspun said. We urge all members to sign RNAO’s Action Alert to call on the prime minister put forward a science-based plan to address this ongoing emergency.

In a letter to the editor, Grinspun highlighted the need for hospitals to fully utilize their surgical capacity as opposed to any moves towards for-profit care delivery. This would help with the backlog of surgeries while also maintaining Ontario’s not-for-profit health system. “We call on Premier Doug Ford to fund all hospitals…to extend surgical care 24-7 until wait times are under control,” said Grinspun in Cornwall Standard-Freeholder (Nov. 21). Please sign and share RNAO’s Action Alert calling on the premier to stop the move toward for-profit care.

RNAO will continue to speak out alongside its members on topics related to nursing and health. Stay up-to-date on media coverage by visiting RNAO in the news. Are you a member interested in speaking to reporters? Compete our short survey and a member of our communications team will be in touch.