Media Advisory - Politicians to get up-close view of RNs' expertise during Nursing Week

    TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - Thirty politicians will find out what it takes to
be a nurse - and why 9,000 additional ones are needed - when they visit RNs in
hospitals, public health units, primary care clinics, homes and long-term care
facilities next week.
    The politicians are participating in the Registered Nurses' Association
of Ontario's (RNAO) Take Your MPP/MP to Work initiative. The event, now in its
ninth year, gives nurses the chance to bring this year's Nursing Week theme,
Nursing: You can't live without it, to life for politicians. Federal and
provincial politicians will see how public health nurses ensure people stay
healthy and protect themselves from disease; how nurses in long-term care
facilities improve the health and quality of life for their residents; what
RNs in primary care clinics do to help people manage chronic illnesses like
diabetes and asthma; the way RNs in hospitals work with people struggling with
acute illnesses; and how nurses' expertise enables people to receive care in
their homes so they can remain there with their loved ones.
    RNAO President Wendy Fucile says the event is a chance to showcase
nurses' knowledge, skill and compassion, as well as the demands of their daily
work. "Every day, RNs all over this province are providing the best, safest
care people need and deserve," she says. "But the government must keep its
commitment to hire 9,000 additional nurses by 2011. These positions are needed
to meet the immediate, ever-growing demand for nursing care, and to prepare
for the future as many nurses near retirement. We've asked Premier McGuinty to
fund 3,000 additional nurses this year, and the threat of a flu pandemic makes
this call urgent."
    RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun says Take Your MPP/MP to Work
allows politicians to see the breadth of what nurses are doing across the
province for children, adolescents, adults and older people. "Nursing Week
provides an important forum to remind politicians how nurses work with people
so that they remain healthy, access timely, high-quality health services when
they need them, and care for them when they are ill," she says. "If
politicians from all parties have a solid understanding of what RNs' work is
about, they'll see right away why bringing an additional 9,000 of them into
the workforce is a sound investment of public dollars."

    Highlights of Take Your MPP to Work include:
    -   Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan will tour
        Kensington Gardens Long-Term Care Centre in Toronto, with RNAO member
        Debbie Emerson and RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun, on
        Tuesday, May 12.
    -   Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best will visit Toronto Public
        Health, with RNAO member Katie Dilworth, on May 13.
    -   Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Deputy Government House Leader
        Brad Duguid, will tour Scarborough General Hospital, with RNAO member
        Nancy Fletcher on May 11.
    -   Minister of Environment John Gerretsen will visit Kingston General
        Hospital, with RNAO Assembly member Joy Peacock, on May 15.
    -   Minister without Portfolio and Chair of Cabinet, Gerry Phillips will
        visit Scarborough Grace Hospital, with RNAO member Carmen James-
        Henry, on May 14.
    -   Deputy Progressive Conservative Leader, PC House Leader and PC Critic
        for Health and Long Term Care Elizabeth Witmer will tour St.
        Michael's Hospital, with RNAO member Andrea McGuiness and RNAO
        Executive Director Doris Grinspun, on May 13.
    -   NDP Critic for: Autism, Francophone Affairs, Health and Long-Term
        Care and Health Promotion France Gélinas will visit Sudbury Regional
        Hospital, with RNAO President-Elect David McNeil and RNAO Board of
        Directors member Paul-André Gauthier, on May 15.

    Highlights of Take Your MP to Work include:
    -   Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton will meet with RNAO members in Ottawa
        on May 14.

    A complete list of all the visits, which will be updated throughout
Nursing Week (May 11-17), can be found on RNAO's website:

    RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses
wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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 further information:

For further information: please contact: Jill Scarrow, Communications
Officer, Writer, Ph: (416) 599-1925, 1-800-268-7199 ext. 210,; Jill-Marie Burke, Media Relations Coordinator, RNAO, Ph:
(416) 599-1925, 1-800-268-7199 ext. 250,

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