Atikokan RN Cuts Move ONA Nurses to Action: Registered nurses concerned with impact on patient care safety

ATIKOKAN, ON, March 11, 2016 /CNW/ -  Front-line registered nurses (RNs) providing patient care at Atikokan General Hospital are so concerned with the impact of RN cuts that they are taking unprecedented action to alert the hospital's board.

The hospital has announced that it will cut three RN positions, despite the fact that its RN staff has been working 60- to 70-hour work weeks due to the overtime required to ensure quality care for patients while the hospital experiences a nursing shortage.

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, says that, "Atikokan General has been experiencing a prolonged nursing shortage. Despite this, management has not seemed to put much effort into recruiting RNs, and now it has announced it is laying off senior nurses."

Haslam-Stroud says that management has used the excuse of its failure to recruit RNs as the reason for the lay offs, "an example of magical reasoning if ever there was one. How on earth is cutting more RN positions solving a nursing shortage? Our educated, skilled and knowledgeable RNs have been dedicating their lives to ensuring their patients have safe, quality care. Despite the thousands of hours of overtime they're working to ensure patients have that care, their employer is cutting their ranks. That's a recipe for RN burnout and a decline in patient care if ever there was one."

Haslam-Stroud says nurses know what needs to change in our health-care system to provide the quality care our patients need and deserve, and RN cuts are not the answer. The RNs have written to the board -- as those who are accountable for the overall performance of the corporation -- and urged them to take action before patient care suffers.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

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SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, cell: (416) 986-8240,; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369,


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