Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Urge Premier Wynne & Health Minister Hoskins to stop the dangerous and expensive practice of RN replacement

For two years, RNAO has been telling the Ontario government that allowing health organizations to replace RNs with less qualified care providers results in poor health outcomes for Ontarians and increases system costs. Despite our efforts, and over 23,000 responses to our action alerts, the government is turning a blind eye and the latest nursing workforce statistics show a further decline in RN to population ratio in Ontario. In fact, we are once again the worse jurisdiction in Canada!

Our campaign to #StopRNreplacement 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 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 eight 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.

On the first day of Nursing Week 2017, we returned to Queen's Park, and brought with us the largest ever publicly available database of research into the effectiveness of RNs. 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.

We have seen no action from our government, and their inaction has resulted in the worsening statistics, released by CIHI on June 1, 2017.

Given the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of RNs, Ontario must once and for all put an end to RN replacement, and restore the province’s RN workforce. Let's demand the end to RN replacement - it is a dangerous and expensive practice.

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
  • All other Members of Provincial Parliament
  • Kim Baker, CEO, Central LHIN
  • Deborah Hammons, CEO, Central East LHIN
  • Bill MacLeod, CEO, Mississauga Halton LHIN
  • Jill Tettmann, CEO, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN
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