Ontario's Investment in Full-Time Nursing Works



    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - While indicating full support for the provincial
government's new $89 million guaranteed employment program for up to 4,000
nursing graduates, Ontario's Registered Practical Nurses Association (RPNAO)
announced today its intention to monitor the program's implementation to
ensure fairness and full RPN participation.
    "RPNAO was involved in the development of the initiative and applauds the
intent of uniform treatment to all types of nurses under the Regulated Health
Professions Act (RHPA) including registered nurses, registered nurse
practitioners and registered practical nurses. Nursing is a partnership in
Ontario and the collective goal of all three nursing professional groups is to
achieve 70% full employment. Currently, less than 55% of RPNs have full time
employment," stated Monica Seawright, RPNAO President.
    "The government sent three strong messages to Ontario's nurses with this
new announcement," stated Dianne Martin, RPNAO's Executive Director. "The
program reflects a commitment to strengthen the career opportunities for
nurses. It ensures nursing grads have access to a full range of full time work
experience in hospitals, long term care, home care, mental and public health
and primary care sectors. It demonstrates a willingness to help RPNs arrest
the trend of less full time work."
    "I am thrilled," said Courtney Miller from the RPN Humber College
program, "to be one of the first nursing students processed through the
program's portal. I'll be working at the RPNAO gaining insights into the range
of professional issues affecting nursing. "My mom is a nurse," added Miller,
"it's great to be able to follow in the nursing tradition and stay in
Ontario."
    The next step is for the unions representing nurses to work together to
address any impediments to full implementation of the program that might exist
in collective agreements. RPNs are represented by multiple unions.

    There are 32,000 RPNs in Ontario, of which only 28,000 are currently
practising as nurses. RPNs are front line health care professionals. They
combine the science and art of nursing with a caring attitude and personal
touch. RPNs work anywhere that health care is provided, in hospitals, long
term care facilities, public health units, community nursing agencies,
clinics, private practice, industry, schools, child care centres and
children's camps.
    The Practical Nurse came into existence in 1938 to meet the increasing
demand for bedside nursing care. Today, the profession has existed for over 60
years and RPNs are recognized as valuable members of the health care team.




For further information:

For further information: Dianne Martin, RPN, RN, RPNAO Executive
Director, (905) 602-4664 ext. 226


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