Provincial budget fails to deliver urgent nursing investments to care for Ontarians and to sustain the profession through the pandemic and beyond

RNAO’s media release on March 24 responded to the presentation of the Ontario budget in the legislature. RNAO is disappointed the government is failing to make the investments desperately needed to help nurses in the fight against COVID-19 and to sustain the nursing workforce after the pandemic.

March 27 2021 COVID-19 report

"The minister of health has said the next few weeks are critical and she is correct. However, at the same time Minister Elliott is warning Ontarians about the dangers variants of the virus pose, the government is issuing contradictory messages by relaxing public health measures designed to protect people's health. That's why we are urging Premier Ford to scale back reopening plans," says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun, including the latest plan to reopen personal care services such as hair salons and barber shops on April 12.

March 20 2021 COVID-19 report

We asked nurses how their work had been impacted by the pandemic. While this may be an obvious question, we didn’t want to pre-judge the outcome. In response, 96% reported yes while 4% said no. We asked how concerned nurses were about work-related risks to their personal health due to COVID-19, and 60% reported being moderately or extremely concerned. Early on, the lack of personal protective equipment was a key concern and weighed heavily on nurses, particularly those working in hospitals and long-term care homes.

Watch webinar: Understanding wellness in Indigenous wisdom traditions for caregivers

This webinar was held on March 2, 2021, in partnership with RNAO, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Chiefs of Ontario (COO), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Shkaabe Makwa and the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA). The focus was on nurses and health-care providers supporting First Nations communities and organizations.

RNAO leads dozens of organizations in candlelight vigil

This past Thursday, March 11 marked the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. 35 health organizations across Ontario responded to RNAO’s invitation to join in solidarity to commemorate the anniversary through a tribute event and candlelight vigil. We were honoured to have Canada's parliamentary poet laureate Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer – join us virtually.

March 13 2021 COVID-19 report

This past Thursday, March 11 marked the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. What a year it has been for nurses, other health-care workers, and millions and millions of people affected by this extraordinary and life-changing event! Individuals at home and around the world have experienced loss and disruption in their lives during this trying time. March 11 was a day to reflect on the tragedy that rippled across the globe. It was also a day of hope as vaccinations advance and we prepare to navigate our way out of this disaster.

Getting it right

The Ontario government must remain focused on vaccinating all Ontarians as quickly and seamlessly as possible. RNAO's urging is to maintain stringent public health measures to mitigate the spread of new variants and to accelerate the vaccine rollout plan. Success will come only through an all-hands-on-deck approach and that means utilizing every available public health nurse, primary care nurse, and home care nurse in the province – as well as family physicians and pharmacists.