Public Health Nurses in Schools

Schools have closed their doors for the holidays following the remarkable experience of having come back to classes in September while doing their best to protect children and staff from a pandemic. Public health nurses have played a central role and the following article provides insight into their contribution. I am grateful to Heather Lokko, RN MPH CCHN(C) (Chief Nursing Officer & Healthy Start Director, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and OPHNL Chief Nursing Officer Network Liaison), Irmajean Bajnok, RN MScN PhD FCAN (Senior Policy Analyst, RNAO), and David Groulx, RN, BScN, MPH, CCHN(C) (President OPHNL, and Manager, Professional Practice and School Health, Public Health Sudbury & Districts) who authored the article.

RNAO says Ontario government, taking belated and delayed action, is failing Ontarians as virus runs rampant and endangers lives and our health-care system

RNAO says the government is failing Ontarians at a crucial moment when COVID-19 runs rampant. Dramatic and immediate action is required. The government’s announcement of a province-wide lockdown comes very late and is further endangering lives and the health-care system by waiting until Dec. 26 to enact the measures.

Best wishes for the holiday


The holiday season looks and feels a lot different this year than ones we have celebrated in the past. As 2020 – the Year of the Nurse – winds down, we want to thank each and every RN, NP, RPN and nursing student – for making nursing and Canadians proud!

December 29 2020 COVID-19 report

We have all worked day and night during the COVID-19 pandemic nursing Ontarians in need, supporting nurses and nursing students, and/or engaging with government and other officials. Together we will continue to fight with every ounce of our strength and expertise this unrelenting virus– until we conquer it.

Providing compassionate nursing care in an age of artificial intelligence

According to a recent Ipsos poll, more Canadians are envisioning a health-care system with health technologies powered by artificial intelligence such as predictive analytics and robotics. To shed light on virtual care delivery models in Canada, RNAO along with AMS Healthcare prepared a report and hosted a virtual pan-Canadian symposium on Oct. 21 to bring together nurses and other stakeholders to critically reflect and discuss this important topic.

Long-term care staffing plan welcomed, but lack of urgency and legislated action will continue to devastate residents, their loved ones, and staff for years to come

RNAO issued a media release on December 18 in response to the Ontario government’s announcement of its long-term care staffing plan. RNAO welcomes the release of the government’s long-term care (LTC) staffing plan, but the minister’s staffing plan falls short on immediate action and specifics.

RNAO continues to express grave concern regarding the worsening situation with the second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario

As discussed last week, RNAO continues to urge faster and stronger action than reflected in the current colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework. RNAO is calling for a province-wide lockdown, or, at a minimum, following the Ontario Hospital Association recommendation to robustly enforce a four-week lockdown (grey zone) in every public health unit with an infection rate of 40/100,000 population or higher.

December 18 2020 COVID-19 report

The expanded lockdown measures should be started immediately and not wait until December 25, which appears to be the plan of the Ontario government. Setting December 25 as the starting date is an invitation for exponential growth of community transmission until the measures come into effect. The healthcare system is already under enormous pressure, and some sectors are collapsing, such as long-term care. Non-COVID interventions have been severely reduced or even stopped in many sectors, which will translate in increased morbidity and mortality as a result of cancer, cardiac illness, and other conditions. If the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to increase, we will not be far from a situation where “ethical guidelines” will guide who receives treatment and who does not.