More Nurses, Better Care: Ontario Nurses' Association Celebrates Nursing Week 2014

TORONTO, May 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association members and nursing student affiliate members are poised to celebrate Nursing Week 2014 beginning tomorrow.

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN and ONA's Board of Directors will attend a number of celebrations and events across the province throughout the week to recognize the year-round, 24/7 dedication and commitment of nurses. They will also raise awareness of the nurses' contributions to the well-being of Ontarians.

Haslam-Stroud notes that ONA's Nursing Week 2014 theme is, More Nurses, Better Care.

"This theme reflects the importance and value of the knowledge and skills that our nurses bring to health care and the positive benefits of nursing care to our patients," she said. "In Ontario, it is absolutely imperative that we stop the further erosion of nursing positions. We need more nurses, not fewer nurses and ONA is strongly advocating for an end to further cuts of the nurses that our patients rely on."

Haslam-Stroud says that Ontario's nurses provide cost-effective and high-quality care to patients, despite tight health care budgets and daily workload challenges.

"Despite our value, we are often thought of as a cost to the health-care system rather than a cost-effective answer," she says. "In view of the ever-increasing workloads, deteriorating working conditions and the increasing struggle to provide patients with safe, quality care while often working understaffed, it's even more critical that nurses take this week to celebrate our profession and reinvigorate our nurses."

Haslam-Stroud adds that study after study has shown the link between RN staffing levels and patients' health outcomes. More nurses equals better patient health outcomes. Yet Ontario has the second-worst RN-to-population ratio in Canada.

Nursing Week 2014 is set for May 12-18 in Canada; it is held during the week of Florence Nightingale's birthday each year to recognize and celebrate the constant dedication and achievements of nurses of all nurses – registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and registered practical nurses (RPNs). Many ONA Locals will be airing radio ads to encourage the community to thank a nurse this week.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-1979 ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-1979 ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses