There’s been a lot of noise and hyperbole from certain corners of the nursing world over the past year or so about nursing skill mix here in Ontario. Specifically, there’s a vocal minority from the RN world that continues to disrespect and devalue the role of the RPN in our health care system. While it’s true that these individuals and their opinions don’t reflect the majority of those in health care, these comments, insinuations and attacks are starting to get a bit old and, frankly, more than a bit disappointing.

Specifically, one of the things these individuals enjoy saying in their media releases and other communications is that RPNs are ‘lesser-skilled’ workers. I don’t need to tell you that we, as health care providers, provide the best quality of care when we carefully match up our nurses to the different types of patients that exist. And to that end, RPNs are skilled, knowledgeable nurses who provide the absolute best quality of care when we are matched up with the appropriate patients, clients and residents.

It’s worth noting that even within our categories of nursing, there’s a wide variety of backgrounds, education, experience levels, etc. So attempting to paint each category with a certain brush is more of a public relations exercise than anything else. And we at RPNAO will continue to call out anyone who tries to devalue the contributions, skills or abilities of RPNs.

It was very gratifying at Queen’s Park last fall to hear Minister Hoskins talk about the important role that all nurses have to play in our health care system. And to hear him underscore his belief that all nurses should be working to full scope of practice to help create a more sustainable health care system.

And finally, we believe that the best people to make decisions about nursing skill mix should continue to be the nurse leaders who work closest to the patients every day. You should also know that we hear from nursing leaders every week, who are telling us how important their RPNs are to their organizations.

Health care is evolving and RPNs are playing a more important role than ever in that transformation. We want to thank you for your amazing work and to let you know that your association will always be there to stand up for you and the work you do. 


Maxwell Hamlyn
President, BOD, RPNAO


Category: Messages from the PresidentDate: Wednesday, June 28, 2017