TORONTO, April 16, 2018 /CNW/ - More than 700 registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP), nursing students and guests from across the province will come together in Toronto April 19-21 to celebrate the past year's achievements and engage with prominent political and nursing leaders about what needs to be done to improve the health of Ontarians and their health system.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) will host its 93rd Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Toronto and welcome political leaders such as the Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Helena Jaczek, PC Party Health Critic Jeff Yurek and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
"This year's theme is Powering Nursing to Advance Health, which illustrates how we at RNAO power members to use their courageous leadership to drive policy improvements for nursing, health and health care," says RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun. "By responding to action alerts, speaking with the media and urging politicians to adopt the recommendations in RNAO's provincial platform Improving health for all, we are advocating for values-driven and evidence-based policies for all Ontarians, in times of health and in times of illness."
At the AGM, nurses will discuss several issues arising in the nursing and health-care landscape including stopping RN replacement. For the past several years, RNs have been replaced by less qualified health workers, which compromises patient safety and is financially more costly to tax payers. "The RN per population in Ontario is at an all-time low, failing to keep pace with the province's growing, aging and more complex population," says RNAO President Carol Timmings. "We must act now to ensure better health and financial outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, and higher health system performance."
RNAO members will urge political leaders to put a stop to RN replacement and require that all new nursing hires in tertiary, quaternary and cancer care hospitals be RNs, as well as urge that all first home health care visits be provided by an RN. Attendees will also ask to locate care co-ordination and RN care co-ordinators in primary care settings.
In addition, Grinspun and Timmings will address members on Friday and give their year-end reports before the swearing-in ceremony of incoming president Angela Cooper Brathwaite.
"I look forward to assuming the president role and working with RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun and the board of directors," says Brathwaite. "RNAO represents 41,130 strong, knowledgeable and vocal RNs, NPs and nursing students who have unmatchable power to influence health and nursing policy and practice."
Nurses will also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of nurse practitioners becoming recognized by the province. A feat that started in 1965 when the first NP program was developed at the University of Colorado followed by Ontario's first education program for an expanded RN role at the University of Toronto.
"NPs were just beginning their journey to being recognized 20 years ago and after decades of hard work and advocacy, legislation was passed in 1998 to recognize NPs contribution to health care in Ontario," says Timmings. "RNAO has been there every step of the way, playing a catalyst's role in expanding the scope and influence of the NP role in the province."
Other highlights from the AGM include a keynote panel on the legalization of cannabis and what it means for nursing practice in the future; the launch of Transforming Nursing Through Knowledge, a book that tells the story of RNAO's Best Practice Guidelines program and celebrates 20 years since the program's inception; and the celebration of 14 health-care and academic organizations from Ontario, Canada and abroad as they receive their Best Practice Spotlight Organization designation. The association will also hand out its annual Recognition Awards to 14 RNs, NPs, nursing students and health organizations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and present its annual Media Awards to recognize outstanding nursing and health reporting.
Highlights from RNAO's 2018 AGM include:
Thursday, April 19 6:10 – 8:30 p.m.
- Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario's minister of health and long-term care
- Jeff Yurek, PC health critic
- Andrea Horwath, NDP leader
- Annette Kennedy, president of the International Council of Nurses (video greetings)
- Dr. Beth Tigges, president of Sigma (letter greetings)
Friday, April 20 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- RNAO's Dr. Doris Grinspun delivers her annual CEO report at 8:45 a.m.
- Premier Kathleen Wynne addresses nurses at 9:30 a.m.
- Book launch of Transforming Nursing Through Knowledge: Best Practices for Guideline Development, Implementation Science, and Evaluation at 11:50 a.m.
- Consultation session regarding the 2018 proposed resolutions at 2 p.m.
- RNAO's President Carol Timmings delivers her President's address at 3:55 p.m.
- Swearing-in ceremony for incoming president Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite at 4:10 p.m.
- Presentation of Recognition Awards throughout the day
- Presentation of Media Awards at President's Banquet at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Interest groups meetings at 8 a.m.
- Panel discussion: The legalization of cannabis: What does this mean for nursing practice? at 11:30 a.m.
Members of the media are welcome to attend all events.
For social media, please use the hashtag #RNAOAGM.
RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated 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 more information about RNAO, visit our website at RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information: about the AGM, please contact: Victoria Alarcon, Editorial Assistant, RNAO, Phone: 416-408-5610,Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 211, valarcon@RNAO.ca