It wasn’t all that long ago RPNs were called assistants to registered nurses. Now, we make up  one-quarter of the province’s nursing workforce and each year, our roles and  responsibilities  expand and evolve.

 I have no doubt that the changes will continue in the years ahead: changes to how RPNs  work,  where we provide care and the impact we have on the field of nursing.

 One area of change that I believe will provide RPNs with the opportunity to play a significant role is the evolution of the community-based health care system. As demographics across the province shift, the needs of our clients, patients and residents are too. There is also a growing realization among health care leaders that something must be done to alleviate the pressures being placed on overcrowded, overburdened hospitals.

As a community-based nurse, I have seen firsthand how quickly this area of care is expanding and the potential it has to reshape the level and quality of health-care delivery across the province.

But as many RPNs can certainly attest, community-based nursing is also experiencing some major growing pains. The rapid expansion of care into local communities requires adequate funding and resources to ensure that nurses are able to deliver the best care possible. Without it, nurses feel overwhelmed and undervalued. It also makes it much more difficult to recruit RPNs into local community-based care practice.

We understand the challenges many RPNs are experiencing as a result of this. And that is why in 2015, RPNAO will be advocating at Queen’s Park for the funding and resources necessary to ensure that all of our clients, patients and residents receive the right care at the right time and the right place. We are excited by the possibilities and new opportunities this year will bring and strongly believe that RPNs will be at the forefront of the shift toward a sustainable community-based system.

Anne McKenzie, President


Category: Messages from the PresidentDate: Thursday, February 19, 2015