Dianne Martin, CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN), released the following statement on the newly released ‘Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care’.
“Our province is facing a health human resources (HHR) crisis and meaningful action is needed to recruit and retain nurses to meet the growing needs of Ontario patients. WeRPN welcomes the government’s commitment to growing Ontario’s nursing workforce by increasing the number of spaces in all nursing programs and developing innovative and streamlined approaches to educating nurses faster. The Bridging Educational Grant in Nursing (BEGIN) program — which WeRPN administers in partnership with the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care — also continues to be a critical tool for Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to gain the skills they need to advance in their careers while meeting urgent needs in the long-term care and home and community care sectors.
However, today’s announcement fails to address how Ontario will support the retention of current nurses. WeRPN hears each day from RPNs that they are burnt out, fed up and actively considering leaving healthcare. No recruitment efforts alone will be able to mitigate the current strains of the health-care system. WeRPN is calling on the government to put in place concrete measures that will enable our health system to better retain the incredible nurses we already have. Those retention efforts must include establishing competitive compensation for nurses, particularly RPNs, who have seen their roles grow and their wages remain stagnant, as well as establishing appropriate nurse-to-patient ratios to keep Ontarians safe. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to solve Ontario’s HHR challenges moving forward.”