Registered Nurses Respond to VON Restructuring

EDMONTON, Nov. 27, 2015 /CNW/ -The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is concerned by the decision of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) to close its offices in Alberta and five other provinces.  

"The availability of home care and community services is a critical factor for many older Albertans and VON has been a valued partner in providing those services," says CARNA president Shannon Spenceley.  "It is concerning to lose the services provided by the VON's capable, professional staff at a time when our population is aging and the demand for these services is increasing.  We appreciate that this must have been a difficult decision for the VON and recognize the many challenges facing non-for-profit charities in our current economic environment."     

In Alberta, across Canada and internationally, there has been discussion of the increasing proportion of older adults within our population. There is a continuum in aging with many older adults remaining independent and requiring minimal supports and health services as they age. At the other end of the continuum are older adults who have complex needs and are frail and vulnerable. The Canadian Institute of Health Information (2011) indicates that older adults are predisposed to having multiple chronic conditions which can increase the use of health services.

"According to the province's Auditor General, people with chronic conditions account for nearly two-thirds of hospital inpatient days, one-third of all visits to physicians and more than one-quarter of visits to emergency rooms," says CARNA CEO Mary-Anne Robinson.  "One of the challenges facing our health system is how to effectively manage chronic disease in the home and community and it is unfortunate to lose the services of a well-respected service provider like the VON."

CARNA is the professional and regulatory body for Alberta's 36,000 registered nurses, including nurses in direct care, education, research and administration as well as nurse practitioners. Its mandate is to protect the public by ensuring that Albertans receive effective, safe and ethical care by registered nurses.

SOURCE College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

For further information: Margaret Ward-Jack, tel: 780.453.0515, cell: 780.932.1376,


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