Nurses celebrate their evolving profession at 92nd annual meeting

TORONTO, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - More than 600 registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP) and nursing students will meet in Toronto this week during a transformative time for nursing and the health system.

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) has altered the landscape for all health professionals, while RNs and NPs will soon see major expansions to their scope of practice. Members of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) will discuss these issues and more as they gather for their annual general meeting (AGM) April 27-29 at the Hilton Toronto.

"AGM is always an exciting opportunity to come together as a profession," says RNAO's President Carol Timmings. "And with nursing occupying a central role in health system design and delivery, it's even more important we meet to celebrate our accomplishments over the past year, and look at what's in store for the future."

One of the most significant ‒ and controversial ‒ changes to nursing practice came in June 2016, when federal legislation officially legalized medical assistance in dying (MAID). NPs can now provide MAID, and RNs can assist in the process. This legislation has raised important questions among nurses who wonder how the new law will affect their practice. RNAO will tackle these questions with a panel of experts moderated by Globe and Mail health columnist André Picard.

Expanding the scope of practice for RNs and NPs will be another topic of discussion at AGM.  At RNAO's Queen's Park Day in February, Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced RNs would soon be authorized to prescribe medications and communicate diagnosis, while NPs would soon be able to prescribe controlled substances ‒ both initiatives championed by RNAO. The health minister is also moving forward with RNAO's recommendation to devolve Ontario's 14 community care access centres (CCAC) and have many of their responsibilities absorbed by local health integration networks (LHINS).

Hoskins is one of the top politicians who will join nurses at RNAO's AGM. Others are Premier Kathleen Wynne, PC party leader Patrick Brown, and NDP health critic France Gélinas.

"It is our honour to host Ontario's leading politicians at our AGM, and continue the evidence-based advocacy that has led to so many major strides for nursing and health care in the province," says RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun.

More than a chance to discuss the health of Ontarians and their health system, RNAO's AGM is also about honouring individuals and organizations that are making a difference in nursing and health. As part of AGM festivities, RNAO will hand out its annual Recognition Awards to 11 RNs, NPs, nursing students, and health organizations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and recognize outstanding nursing and health reporting with its annual Media Awards. Seven Ontario long-term care organizations will also celebrate their designation as RNAO's first Long-Term Care Best Practice Spotlight Organizations (LTC-BPSO).

Highlights from RNAO's 2017 AGM include:

Thursday, April 27, 6 – 8:15 p.m.

  • Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Patrick Brown, Leader of Ontario PC party
  • France Gélinas, Health Critic of Ontario NDP party
  • Dr. Judith Shamian, President, International Council of Nurses (video greetings)

Friday, April 28, 8:30 a.m.9:30 p.m.

  • RNAO's Doris Grinspun delivers her annual CEO report at 8:45 a.m.
  • Premier Kathleen Wynne addresses nurses at 11:30 a.m.
  • Consultation session regarding the 2017 proposed resolutions at 1:45 p.m.
  • RNAO's President Carol Timmings delivers her President's report at 3:30 p.m.
  • Presentation of nursing Recognition Awards throughout the day
  • Presentation of Media Awards at President's Banquet at 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 29, 8 a.m.1 p.m.

  • Interest groups meetings, 8 – 11 a.m.
  • Panel discussion: Assisted Dying: how the new law affects your practice, moderated by Globe and Mail columnist André Picard, 11:30 – 1 p.m.

Members of the media are welcome to attend.

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students 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 RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

For further information: For more information about the AGM, please contact: Daniel Punch, Communications Officer/Writer, RNAO, 416-208-5606/1-800-268-7199, ext. 250, dpunch@RNAO.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.rnao.org

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