Each new year brings with it an opportunity for reflection, renewal and resolutions. Whether it’s a new goal to be more active, pursue a new passion project or prioritizing more time with friends and family, every January gives us a chance for a new beginning. This year, that is more true than ever for me as I start an exciting new role as President of the Board of RPNAO. As a practicing RPN for the last 44 years, it has truly an honour for me to serve on the board for the past seven years and I am looking forward to building on that experience as President. I want to thank our past President Max Hamlyn for the leadership and passion he brought to the board over the past year. I know I have big shoes to fill but I am geared up for the challenge. So as I embark on this new journey, I want to share some of my resolutions for 2019 with you.
- Amplify the voices of Ontario’s RPNs
As RPNs, we know all too well how hard it can be to make sure our voices are heard—by our colleagues, bosses or more broadly by health policy makers. But there is strength in numbers and that’s one of the reasons I became a member of RPNAO when I began my career in nursing. Our collective voice- the voice of over 14 000 members- is hard to ignore. But we can’t take it for granted. That’s why my first resolution as the new President of RPNAO is to ensure we’re continuing to grow our membership and make sure we’re taking a strong stand on the issues that matter most to RPNs in Ontario.
- Give RPNs every opportunity to work to their full scope of practice.
RPNAO has long been advocating for changes to scope of practice that will enable RPNs to make the most of their knowledge and expertise and remove frustrating barriers to providing timely care that patients need. With a new government in power in Ontario- one that has publicly committed to improving our health system- we have an opportunity to show that RPNs have an important role to play and want to be part of that solution. To date, the RPNAO team has laid important ground work with the new government and I look forward to making advocacy on scope of practices changes a big priority for 2019.
- Continue learning
We never stop learning. There are some things we’re doing extremely well as RPNs in Ontario, like taking a knowledge based approach to developing safe and appropriate roles for practical nurses to deliver high quality care, but there is always room to continue to grow our understanding. One way to do this is to explore how RPNs are doing in other countries across the globe. In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of interesting models of care emerge from countries like Finland and Australia. So this year, in the spirit of continuing education, I am travelling down under to gain a better understanding of Australian models and bring back lessons we can utilize in Ontario.
With these resolutions in mind, I know it will be an exciting year ahead as RPNAO President. Most of all, I look forward to continuing to engage with all of you, the passionate and dedicated RPNs who are members of RPNAO. If you have ideas or comments to share, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Keirl, RPN