Nurses launch campaign to highlight Nurse Practitioner role

    TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - What can a nurse practitioner do for you? As
National Nursing Week draws near, the Registered Nurses' Association of
Ontario (RNAO) and the Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario (NPAO),
will launch a public awareness campaign to answer that question and inform
people about this most valuable health-care role.
    Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses with advanced education
and legislative authority, who help you keep healthy, diagnose and treat
common illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications, and order lab tests,
x-rays and other diagnostic tests. In the 11 years the role has been legally
recognized in Ontario, nurse practitioners have expanded their reach and work
in almost every sector of the health-care system from hospitals and community
clinics to long-term care facilities and family health teams.
    "This is a role we are extremely proud of and yet, many people still
aren't aware of the knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners. That's why we
are launching this campaign so that people across Ontario will have more
information about NPs and the part they can play in their health care," says
RNAO president Wendy Fucile.
    "NPs are really addressing many challenges facing our health-care system.
They are reducing wait times in emergency departments, increasing access to
primary health care in family health teams and through NP-led clinics, and
reducing transfers of elderly residents from long-term care facilities to
hospitals. They are bringing their knowledge and leadership to health-care
teams and making sure people get the care they need and deserve," says NPAO
president Tina Hurlock-Chorostecki.
    In addition to educating people about the role in general, the campaign
focuses on towns and cities where patients do not have access to a primary
care provider, says Doris Grinspun, executive director of RNAO. "The McGuinty
government has announced that 25 additional NP-led clinics will open in
Ontario shortly. This will allow people to immediately have access to meet
their health care needs, and that's why this campaign is so important. We are
saying to the public: 'Call your MPP to get an NP,'" adds Grinspun.


    -  Wendy Fucile, President, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
    -  Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, Registered Nurses' Association of
    -  Tina Hurlock-Chorostecki, President, Nurse Practitioners' Association
       of Ontario

    WHAT:  Media conference to launch a public awareness campaign about the
           role of nurse practitioners.

    WHERE: East End Community Health Centre, 1619 Queen Street East
           (at Coxwell), Toronto.

    WHEN:  Monday, May 11, 2009 at 10 a.m.

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (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 influence decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

    The Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario (NPAO) represents the
professional interests of all nurse practitioners in Ontario. NPAO is an
expert group of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. NPAO's mission
is to achieve full integration of nurse practitioners to ensure accessible,
high quality health care for Ontarians.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with an NP, please
contact: Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO, (647) 406-5605
(cellular), (416) 408-5605 (office); Jane Sanders, Executive Director, NPAO,
(647) 300-6726 (cellular), (416) 593-8746 (office)

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