TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - To mark Mother's Day and the beginning of Nursing
Week 2011, the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is releasing new
research that focuses on the value of care provided mainly by women -
including nurses - and includes some new wage data and recommendations.
Entitled "Valuing the Invaluable: Rethinking and respecting caring work
in Canada," the paper was written by ONA staff economist, Salimah
Valiani, PhD. It quantifies the penalty that is imposed on those doing
carework in Canada.
"As we mark both Mother's Day and Nursing Week, a time to honour those
who care for others, we can't forget those who have opted to work in
areas that our society undervalues," says ONA First Vice-President
Vicki McKenna, RN.
"Those who work in caregiving professions, whether they be registered
nurses, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, visiting
homemakers or migrant live-in caregivers, continue to be penalized for
providing work that is so vital for so many," she adds.
Valiani's analysis links the growth of unpaid and paid overtime being
worked by RNs to the nursing shortage and the undervaluing of these
professionals. Between 1997 and 2008, the annual aggregate unpaid
overtime worked by public-sector RNs in Canada virtually doubled, from
51,200 to 99,000 hours. The number of hours of overtime worked weekly
by Canadian RNs has quadrupled since the late-1980s.
Canada has seen its ratio of RNs per population drop from 824 per
100,000 in the early 1990s to 789 per 100,000 in 2009; Ontario has
fared far worse, with a ratio of direct care RNs to population of 785
"This research clearly quantifies the extent of the nursing shortage
that has had such an impact on nurses' workloads and quality patient
care," says McKenna. "This demonstrated and frightening shortage of
nurses will only become more problematic over the coming years as more
"Valuing the Invaluable: Rethinking and respecting caring work in
Canada" includes seven recommendations to begin undoing the
undervaluing of carework," says McKenna. ONA believes the research will
be of great value to policy makers, universities and colleges; it can
be viewed at http://www.ona.org/publications_forms/research_series.html
ONA is the union representing 57,000 front-line RNs and allied health
professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing
care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: