TORONTO, March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Hundreds of front-line nurses, members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), and nursing students rallied at the provincial legislature today calling for the government to improve patient care by hiring more nurses.
"Ontarians deserve the same high-quality health care as every other Canadian," said ONA President, Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, a renal transplant nurse from St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton.
"It's time for our government to hire more registered nurses so that the right health care professional will be there to care for you when you need us."
"Our province has the second-worst RN-to-population ratio in the country. With a world-wide nursing shortage and a tsunami of experienced registered nurses poised to retire, Ontario needs to aggressively attract new nurses and keep the experienced RNs we have now on the job as long as possible."
- Our province has the second-lowest registered nurse to person ratio in Canada with just seven RNs per 1,000 Ontarians.
- In order to start catching up to other provinces, Ontario needs to hire 17,500 more RNs.
- The government has cut more than 1,000 registered nursing jobs since 2012.
- Research shows a direct link between the number of registered nurses and the quality of patient care; for every extra patient added to the average workload of a registered nurse, patient complications and patient death increase by 7%.
Photos of the rally will be available on The Canadian Press picture wire this afternoon.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals, as well as nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association