Upstream, long-term and visionary thinking

Be a Nurse in Ontario

File 40


RNAO recommends practical and concrete policies that will both strengthen the nursing workforce and say to the aspiring nurse, the nursing student, the recent graduate, the mid-career nurse and their later-career colleagues: “Build your Nursing Career in Ontario.” Much progress has been made to recruit and retain RNs in Ontario. The public has gained access to 11,000 additional RNs since 2000, with the largest improvement happening since 2003. Full-time RN employment increased from 50 per cent in 1998 to 65.6 per cent in 2009, putting the 70 per cent goal within reach. New nursing graduates found full-time employment thanks to the Nursing Graduate Guarantee program, and the 80/20 initiative opened new horizons to keep experienced nurses in the workforce.

RNAO Recommendations

Commit to No International Recruitment

  1. Ensure that government and publicly funded health organizations do not engage in international recruitment of nurses and other health professionals, and do not see this as part of their health human resources strategy.
  2. Ensure that nurses and other health professionals who voluntarily and without pressure choose to make Ontario their new home face no systemic barriers to practise their profession.
  3. Establish permanent funding for existing upgrading and bridging programs for nurses who make Ontario their new home.

Made-in-Ontario Solutions

  1. Increase the funding of first-year nursing programs to enable 500 admissions.
  2. Fund universities to increase their PhD entries by ten per year, and their Masters entries by 100 per year.
  3. Create an endowment for three-year doctoral fellowships for nurses to enable at least 15 applicants per year to advance their research and accelerate completion of their dissertations, with priority given to nursing faculty.
  4. Provide funding to graduate 350 nurse practitioners per year.
  5. Make a nursing education accessible to all qualified Ontarians, including more generous loans and scholarships, and assistance for new grad transition, loan forgiveness and improved access for all marginalized and under-represented populations.
  6. Increase the Nursing Education Initiative (NEI) by $500 for a total of $2,000 per nurse per year.

To New Graduate

  1. Commit to continued funding of the highly successful Nursing Graduate Guarantee for all sectors and regions in Ontario, to ensure full-time employment for all new RN graduates who wish to work full time, and improve retention in the province.
  2. Expand the Nursing Graduate Guarantee to support transition and integration of new nurse practitioner graduates across all health-care sectors and specifically incorporate a mentorship/fellowship program for NPs.

To Mid-Career

  1. Develop a mid-career nursing strategy with opportunities for further professional and personal development, to retain mid-career nurses in the profession and the province.
    1. Commit to expand the Late Career Nurse (80/20) Initiative (LCNI) to all nurses who are aged 55 years and over who work full and part time, in all sectors and regions in Ontario.
  2. To Late Career