RPNs Lobby at Queen’s Park for Nursing Week

A group of 12 SEIU Healthcare RPNs participated in a lobby day at Queen's Park in Toronto to celebrate Nursing Week. The RPNs spoke with MPPs about important issues they face in the workplace.

SEIU Healthcare RPNs were invited to Queen's Park on Tuesday May 7th as guests of MPP Soo Wong. SEIU’s RPNs not only got to sit and watch the House of Commons in session but also met with many political figures to discuss the important role that RPN's play in Ontario's healthcare system.

“As someone who has worked in the health care field as a front-line public health nurse, administrator, hospital policy-maker as well as a teacher, I have witnessed first-hand the need to employ RPNs in their full scope of practice,” said Soo Wong. “Doing so will allow Ontario hospitals to more effectively deal with the nursing home shortage facing our health care system and will also allow for the reduction in overtime and agency nurses.”

While most RPNs in Ontario work in a hospital or acute care setting, RPNs also work in long-term care facilities. Moving forward, there are opportunities to more fully utilize RPNs in community settings like home care. Patients often stay in hospital longer than they need to because they need the type of care that is provided by a RPN

SEIU’s Nursing Division Carol McDowell, Executive vice-president Emanuel Carvalho, RPNs Jackie Walker, Christine Peacock and Evelyn Belchoir had the special honour of having a meeting with Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne.

“Expanding nursing scope of practice helps to provide patients with access to the right care at the right time and in the right place,” said Health Minister Deb Mathews. “That’s the focus of our action plan for health care. Nurses can see first-hand better than anyone the need for transformation in our health care system.”

Employing RPNs to their full scope of practice will allow Ontario hospitals to more effectively deal with the nursing shortage facing Ontario’s healthcare system and will allow for the reduction in overtime and agency nurses.

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