TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - The pivotal role that registered nurses play in
Ontario's health-care system is being expanded following a speech by
Premier Dalton McGuinty at a meeting of over 700 registered nurses
Friday in Toronto.
The Premier, addressing members of the Registered Nurses' Association of
Ontario (RNAO) during the organization's 86th Annual General Meeting (AGM), acknowledged the changes his government
made to the province's Public Hospitals Act that require Chief Nurse Executives to be a member of a hospital's
board and their quality committees. The changes came into effect this
RNAO President David McNeil describes these requirements as extremely
important. "I'm a Chief Nurse Executive at Sudbury Regional Hospital
and the news ultimately translates into better patient care. Nurses who
have a hand in the decision-making when it comes to running a hospital
will make improvements that will help patients recover better and
faster and improve the overall efficiency of the health-care system."
The Premier received a standing ovation when he announced that his
government was mandating all 37 public health units in the province to
appoint a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) by next year. Currently, only six
public health units have a CNO in place. Reacting to the news, McNeil
called it a progressive step that nurses have been wanting for years.
"The leadership of nurses is essential in health promotion, disease
prevention and during serious outbreaks such as a pandemic. The
majority of health-care workers in public health units are nurses so
it's critical to have a Chief Nursing Officer at the highest level of
decision making," adding that the requirement will also strengthen the
ability of nurses to respond during public health emergencies.
The Premier was greeted with the longest standing ovation ever when he
announced that nurse practitioners (NPs) will have their powers
extended to admit and discharge patients in hospitals. "This is
extremely important news for nurse practitioners and more importantly
for patients in Ontario," says Doris Grinspun, RNAO's Executive
Director. "With these changes, the government is recognizing the
expertise of NPs and the increased contribution they can make to health-care
"Nurse practitioners are a central part of Ontario's health-care system.
Authorizing them to admit and discharge hospital patients maximizes
their contribution and improves patients' access to care," says
Michelle Acorn, President, Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario
(NPAO) adding that "the province's solid leadership advances the
quality care agenda and will lead to better patient outcomes."
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is the professional
association representing registered nurses 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
For more information about RNAO, visit our website at www.rnao.org. You can also check out our Facebook page at www.rnao.org/facebook and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rnao.
"Chief Nursing Officers will raise the bar on quality. Nurses who work
in public health will be able to provide better services and that means
improved health outcomes for the people of Ontario." says Katie
Dilworth, President of the Community Health Nurses' Initiatives Group
(CHNIG), which is part of RNAO.
"We are pleased to hear of the government's further recognition of
nursing leadership in public health. We look forward to working with
the Ministry of Health and RNAO in developing the roles and
responsibilities of the position," says Jo Ann Tober, Executive
Director of the Association of Nursing Directors and Supervisors in
Official Health Agencies in Ontario (ANDSOOHA).
"This announcement recognizes the executive leadership capacity of
registered nurses to improve patient care," says Sue Roger of the
Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario (NLN) adding that this is not
only good for nurses; it's good for hospitals and critical for
"This move will have a direct impact on patient and organizational
outcomes as Chief Nurse Executives have a hand on the pulse of day to
day patient care and evidence at their fingertips," says Karima Velji,
speaking for the Chief Nursing Executive of Academic Hospitals of
SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information:
To arrange an interview with a nurse or for more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209