Thousands of Nurses Needed Across the Province

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It looks like the province is in desperate need of more nurses.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) and Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) recently released a statement saying that more than 10,000 registered nursing (RN) positions need to be filled at provincial hospitals.

It’s no secret that empty positions could leave patients at risk without expert care. This might increase the risk of complications occurring, and even deaths, according to the RNAO.

The representatives for the two major RN organizations are concerned by the vacancies, and wish to fill them as soon as possible.

“The fact is that Ontario hospital patients are almost invariably unstable and have unpredictable health outcomes, and need their care to be provided by registered nurses," said Vicki McKenna President of the ONA, in the statement.

"We simply must staff our hospitals with more RNs now - we must fill those 10,000 vacant RN positions in hospitals and ensure that all new hires in hospitals have the education, competencies and skills, patients need and deserve."

RNAO Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun expanded on McKenna's comment adding that RNs are important for patients with more complex needs.

“The vast majority of Ontario’s acute and cancer care hospital patients have complex care needs and require the expertise of RNs,” Grinspun said.

“There is clear evidence linking the care provided by RNs with lower mortality and morbidity rates, improved patient satisfaction, and better financial outcomes for the health system. We need more RNs if we want to keep people safe, improve their health outcomes, and reduce costly complications and readmissions.”

RNAO and ONA leaders urge all political parties to commit to making RN staffing a health-care priority. They ask that election platforms promise to immediately post and fill the vacancies.

The goal?

To fill the lack of workers in the RN workforce and better serve patients.

The statement reads that Ontario is behind when it comes to the number of RNs in healthcare.

According to RNAO, Ontario has the worst RN-to-population ratio in the entire country, with only 669 RNs per 100,000 people compared to an average of 828 RNs per 100,000 in other provinces.

RNAO and ONA agree that a major rebalance of the RN workforce is needed to ensure patient safety and improve the overall health safety.

Does Mississauga need more nurses?

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