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WeRPN 2023 Pre-Budget Submission Focuses on Retention and Recruitment

by WeRPN

Earlier this month, WeRPN shared its 2023 Pre-Budget Submission with the government outlining five key actions to help support Ontario Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and strengthen our health system.

For the last several years, Ontario’s healthcare system has remained in a state of crisis. Throughout that time, more than 60,000 RPNs have delivered dedicated care to the Ontarians who need it most. RPNs are integral to our healthcare system, yet many are struggling. The RPN role has continued to grow and is closer to the RN role than ever before. More and more healthcare organizations are leveraging the knowledge and expertise of RPNs, but so far their wages have not kept pace. We continue to ask RPNs to do more yet have not put in place competitive compensation that accurately values their contributions. RPNs are telling us they are burnt out after three years of personal sacrifice and significant risk on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without some major changes, we risk losing many of these dedicated nurses.

Ontario needs bold action to address the existing nursing shortage and prevent future nursing losses. Recognizing and responding to the unique experiences of RPNs will be a critical part of that plan. WeRPN is eager to share our nursing recruitment and retention solutions with the government. Our 2023 Pre-Budget Submission highlighted five key actions to retain and recruit more nurses to build a more resilient healthcare system:

Key Actions

  1. Establish Competitive + Harmonized Nursing Wages to Incentivize Retention
  2. Legislate Nurse-to-Patient Ratios to Enhance Patient Safety
  3. Renew Investment in the Nursing Education Initiative (NEI)
  4. Expand the Bridging Education Grants In Nursing (BEGIN) to Acute Care Settings
  5. Reduce Overreliance on For-Profit Nursing Agencies to Save Money

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