TORONTO, April 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) commends the Ontario government for committing to expand the scope of practice for both Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) to help patients access the health care they need more quickly and conveniently.
On April 12, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the provincial government will work with the College of Nurses of Ontario to expand the scope of practice to allow nurses to dispense medication in specific circumstances, such as when patients do not have quick access to a pharmacy.
"We are delighted by Premier Wynne's announcement and are extremely encouraged that this will translate into improved access to care for people across the province," said Dianne Martin, Executive Director of RPNAO. "The education and skillsets of nurses have increased dramatically over the past decade. It's this kind of collaborative effort that will help ensure that nurses are able to use all their knowledge and skills to benefit their patients."
Premier Wynne also committed to working with the nursing community to identify additional opportunities to expand the scope of practice for nurses in the future. "This is more good news for nurses and their patients," said Martin. "We look forward to continuing to work with the government and our nursing colleagues across Ontario to optimize RPNs' scope of practice."
Earlier this month, RPNAO announced it is leading a provincial research and consultation project aimed at creating optimal environments in which RPNs can work to their full scope of practice as members of interprofessional health care teams.
Martin says there are almost 33,000 RPNs working in Ontario and that about 95 per cent of these nurses work directly with patients. "RPNs are a vital part of Ontario's health care system," said Martin. "However, in some health care settings, RPNs are not able to use all of their knowledge and skills. We need to continue to work together to facilitate the kinds of changes that will help ensure the best possible quality of care for our patients. This is the reason why we believe the Premier's announcement is so important."
About the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
Founded in 1958, RPNAO is the voice of registered practical nursing in Ontario. There are nearly 33,000 RPNs employed in nursing in Ontario, playing a vital role in the province's health care system.
SOURCE: Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
For further information:
Dianne Martin, Executive Director, (905) 602-4664 ext. 226