Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Urge Premier Wynne & Health Minister Hoskins to heed the evidence and stop the replacement of RNs

For two years, RNAO has been telling the Ontario government that allowing health organizations to replace RNs with less qualified care providers will have grave consequences for Ontarians and increase system costs. Despite our efforts, and over 21,350 responses to action alerts from RNAO, this dangerous trend continues. Now, we have released 70 years of evidence on the overwhelmingly positive impact of RNs. Never has it been more clear that we must restore Ontario's RN workforce.

Our campaign to end RN replacement began in 2015 after hearing about this disturbing trend from RNAO members. We immediately recognized the danger of replacing RNs, who are educated to care for the most complex and vulnerable patients. We have since made it clear to government that the RN replacement must stop.

This led to RNAO's landmark report, Mind the safety gap in health system transformation: Reclaiming the role of the RN , which was released at Queen's Park in May 2016. The report highlighted how the RN share of the Ontario nursing workforce was plummeting, leaving our province with the lowest RN-to-population ratio in Canada. Again, we urged government to stop RN replacement. We brought forward several recommendations including: legislating an all-RN workforce in tertiary, quaternary and cancer centres within two years, and within five years for large community hospitals; requiring all first home health care visits be completed by an RN; and setting minimum RN and NP staffing standards in long-term care. Despite our efforts, we have seen no action from government.

On the first day of Nursing Week 2017, we returned to Queen's Park, and brought with us the largest publicly available database of research into the effectiveness of RNs. More than seven decades of peer-reviewed research studies were reviewed. The results show RNs have an overwhelmingly positive impact on patients, health organizations, and the health system. This includes reducing mortality, lowering rates of infection, increasing quality of care and patient satisfaction, and increasing cost effectiveness.

Given the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of RN care, Ontario must finally put an end to RN replacement, and restore the RN workforce for the sake of Ontarians. Let's send a strong message that replacing RNs is a dangerous and expensive practice that must end.

Copies will be sent to:

  • Patrick Brown, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario
  • Jeff Yurek, P.C. Critic – Health and Long Term Care
  • France Gélinas, NDP Critic – Health and Long Term Care
Please enter your full name.
Please enter your email address.
Email Subject
Please select your profession
Editable email body to be sent in email.