New report provides recommendations for nurses, nursing employers and
MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite the fact that Registered
Practical Nurses (RPNs) make up more than a quarter of Ontario's
nursing workforce, a newly released report reveals that there is a
significant lack of understanding among nurses, nursing leaders and
educators in terms of the role of the RPN or how they can be best
"We knew there were role clarity issues affecting RPNs but even we were
shocked by the degree to which this entire category of nurses continues
to be misunderstood," said Dianne Martin, Executive Director of the
Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, which led the
report. "Not only does this confusion translate into stress for the
RPNs who are being improperly utilized, but it can contribute to
inefficient health care teams and sub-optimal patient outcomes."
The report, titled, "It's all about synergies: Understanding the role of the RPN in
Ontario's health care system", highlights the rampant confusion about the role of the RPN. For its
research, RPNAO surveyed nurses of all categories and sectors from
across Ontario. The resulting report serves as a roadmap that nurses,
nurse employers and nurse educators can use to improve their
understanding of the scope and appropriate engagement of the RPN role
in Ontario's health care system.
"When the RPN role is better understood, health care leaders are able to
better utilize these nurses as part of their health care teams," said
Martin. "Our report features detailed strategies and resources that
leaders and educators can use to solve these problems in their own
organizations, which will lead to better health care teams and improved
Initial response to the report has been extremely positive. "These
findings have struck a real chord in the nursing community.
Organizations have been starving for this information," says Martin.
"It is important to note that the report is not saying that RPNs are
interchangeable with RNs. On the contrary, it builds on the
understanding that RNs and RPNs have distinct, yet complementary skill
sets and scopes of practice and that each group needs to be properly
utilized in order to create the best patient outcomes."
The report is available for download at rpnao.org.
About the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
Founded in 1958, RPNAO is the voice of registered practical nursing in
Ontario. There are approximately 35,000 RPNs working in Ontario,
playing a vital role in the province's health care system. For more
information about RPNAO, its mandate and how RPNs contribute to
Ontario's health care system, please visit rpnao.org.
SOURCE: Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
For further information:
Dianne Martin, Executive Director, 905-602-4664