KAWARTHA LAKES-May 9 to 15 is Nursing Week 2022, and Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members say they will mark the week by focusing on advocacy for Ontarians and the health-care system.
“Our theme this year is Dedicated to Care. Fighting for Change,” says ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. “Our members will honour the vital the role they play as the backbone of health care for Ontarians, with a focus on one of their core roles – as advocates for their patients, residents and clients.
“The dedication nurses show and the exemplary care they provide every day is worth celebrating, but the harsh realities they face most definitely are not,” she says. “As the pandemic pushes past the two-year mark, they are beyond exhausted, regressive legislation has devalued the profession and stripped away their rights, sound health and safety protocols are still not a reality in many of our workplaces, and incidents of violence continue to escalate,” notes Hoy.
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics
“Nursing can be an incredibly rewarding profession,” she says. “Yet the disrespect that nurses continue to experience from this provincial government with discriminatory legislation such as Bill 124 has been the catalyst for many nurses leaving the profession. That is why ONA is encouraging nurses to tell their stories via social media during Nursing Week. Using the hashtag #WhyIFight, nurses are invited to share their stories of why they continue to advocate on behalf of their patients, residents and clients. It is important for nurses to have a voice, to share their experiences and tell their stories. It’s also an opportunity for people to understand their realities, and to vote wisely in the election.”
Timed to coincide with International Nurses’ Day on May 12, the Nursing Now Ontario Awards honour Ontario’s exceptional nurses and build upon the goals of the Nursing Now campaign, a global initiative aimed at improving health around the world through nursing.
Now in its third year, the Nursing Now Ontario Awards are presented by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN), the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) and the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) to one winner in each of the following three categories: registered practical nurse (RPN), registered nurse (RN) and nurse practitioner (NP).
A panel of nurses selected the winners — each of whom demonstrates the qualities of an exceptional nurse, high professional standards, superior clinical skills and a compassionate practice — from a pool of more than 400 nominations.
During a special virtual presentation on May 12, 2022 at 2 p.m. ET., WeRPN, RNAO and ONA will offer a salute to all of Ontario’s nurses and recognize the award winners.