TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - A portrait of the country's nursing
landscape shows Ontario continues to lag behind other provinces when it
comes to the number of RNs available to care for patients.
The report, compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information
(CIHI), examined the number of registered nurses (RN) in the workforce
between 2008 and 2012. While the RN workforce in the rest of Canada
increased slightly from 8.29 in 2008 to 8.30 in 2012 per 1,000 people,
Ontario's declined. In fact, the RN workforce in Ontario for the same
period decreased from 7.18 to 6.99 per 1,000 people, making it the
province with the second lowest RN-to-population rate in Canada. "Put
another way, Ontario has about 15.7 per cent fewer RNs per population
than the rest of the country," says Rhonda Seidman-Carlson, President
of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO). "The numbers
speak for themselves and this does not bode well for Ontarians."
Seidman-Carlson is also frustrated with the lack of government action:
"This is an issue we first highlighted several years ago and the
situation is getting worse. This news isn't good for patient care
because all the evidence points to the link between directs hours of RN
care and positive patient outcomes. This is also bad news for
registered nurses because it means heavier workloads and the inevitable
stress, burnout and illness that come with that."
RNAO's Chief Executive Officer, Doris Grinspun, says the association has
highlighted this concern repeatedly to Premier Kathleen Wynne and
Health Minister Deb Matthews. RNAO says Ontario needs a minimum of
9,000 additional RNs by 2015 to begin catching up. "RNs are central to
the delivery of health care in this province. They are needed
everywhere, from hospitals to community care," says Grinspun, adding
that "more and more patients are being released from hospital with
complex and ongoing care needs and you require RNs with the expertise
and know-how to help them get better. How long do we have to wait
before we -- registered nurses -- declare an emergency?" adds Grinspun.
Grinspun says members of RNAO want swift action and funding and will
demand as much when they visit with MPPs in their local ridings during
Queens Park on the Road (QPOR) being held throughout October and
November. QPOR is part of the association's campaign to improve patient
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional
association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in
Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy,
promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution
to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect
nurses and the public they serve.
For more information about RNAO, visit our website at www.RNAO.ca. You can also check out our Facebook page at www.RNAO.ca/facebook and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RNAO.
SOURCE: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
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