Nearly 30 Registered Practical Nurses from across Ontario, members of Unifor, went to the Ontario Legislature to talk to members of the provincial parliament about their concerns about health care in the province and the role of their profession.
“Registered Practical Nurses are on the front line of our health care system. For many patients, and for thousands in long term care, they are the face of health care in Ontario,” said Katha Fortier, Unifor’s Ontario Regional Director and an RPN.
The RPNs pushed for full utilization in Ontario’s health care system. During the lobby sessions, stressing with MPPs the vital role they play in Ontario’s health care system, and how to build on their contributions through further education and training.
The nurses also called for elimination of barriers to RPNs putting their full range of skills to use, and a greater voice for RPNs in the administration of hospitals and long term care facilities.
RPNs are the fastest-growing job category in the health care system, with almost 43,000 working across the province today, compared with some 33,000 in 2009.
“It is time for the voices, and insight, of RPNs to be heard,” said Fortier, who worked at a rural Northern Ontario hospital for 20 years, and is also director of Unifor’s health sector.