Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Attention Nurse Practitioners: Help improve NP working conditions!

An important pan-Canadian study of Nurse Practitioners' working conditions is being launched, with the aim of improving retention and recruitment of NPs.
A high level of participation is essential to the success of the project. Your input will help paint a picture of the reality of working as an NP in Canada, and how improvements can be made.
Please share your experiences as part of this brief survey.
Visit to complete the English online survey.
Visit to complete the French online survey.
The deadline for completing the survey is January 12. We encourage you to share with your colleagues.
The data obtained from the survey will be strictly anonymous (unless you indicate you wish to be contacted), and only aggregate information will be shared.
The outcome of the project will be to develop recommendations for employers and governments to improve NP working conditions to better attract and retain NPs, and expand NP positions throughout the health care system.
The study is being launched by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), Canada's largest nurses' organization representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses and supported by the Ontario Nurses' Association.
Thank you for your participation in this important initiative. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Better Care Starts Here Campaign

ONA’s ‘Better Care Starts Here Campaign’ Expands Today
 “Better Care for a Lifetime” in cinemas, on radio and social media

TORONTO – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) public awareness campaign, Better Care Starts Here, expands today with a new tagline.

“As we enjoy the holiday season, ‘Better Care for a Lifetime’ will be airing in theatres across the province before the much-anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie,” says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “It’s a timely reminder that not everyone will be home for the holidays, and our dedicated registered nurses are there on the front lines to care for and protect their patients.”

ONA’s new cinema ad can be viewed here. Also launching are radio ads across Ontario and social media ads. To listen to the radio ads, visit ONA’s Nurses Know website where visitors will also find a list of actions that can be taken and information about Ontario’s health-care system.
Haslam-Stroud notes that ONA’s social media campaign will be on Facebook, and for the first time, on Instagram.
“And as many of us anticipate the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, it’s important to remember those who are not as fortunate, and to show gratitude that highly skilled, highly caring registered nurses are on the front lines to provide the quality care our patients need and deserve.”

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Be part of the team!

The ONA Provincial Human Rights and Equity (HR&E) Team is comprised of ONA members and staff with a mandate to promote ONA’s development as an inclusive and equitable organization.

The team is currently seeking to attract participants to represent the following equity groups:

1. Francophone
2. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+)
3. Racialized

Please note that you must belong to the respective equity group to be a representative on the team. The term for team members is two years, and membership terms are staggered to ensure continuity.

An Expression of Interest form is available online at:

Deadline for applying is Friday, December 18, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Ontario Nurses’ Association Celebrates National Nurse Practitioner Week

TORONTO – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is urging the public to join in celebrating the critical work that Nurse Practitioners (NPs) do each and every day.

“Nurse Practitioners Week is being marked in Ontario from November 12 to 18,” notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “ONA is proud to recognize the invaluable work they do, providing high-quality services and primary care to their patients.”

Haslam-Stroud says that Nurse Practitioners Week is also a chance to raise awareness of the scope of practice of our RN-extended class front-line care providers.

“ONA has been advocating on behalf of Ontario Nurse Practitioners (NPs) on a number of issues,” she said. “We have made progress in standardizing provincial salary grid equity for our highly educated and skilled NPs. We are also making progress in ensuring that Ontario NPs are able to practice to the full extent of their scope without barriers.”

In Ontario, Nurse Practitioners work in every sector of health care. With their advanced university education, NPs provide personalized health care to their patients, and work independently and in partnership with physicians, RNs and pharmacists.

“Ontarians are lucky to have dedicated and highly skilled NPs working to care for them in so many settings,” said Haslam-Stroud. “Let’s celebrate our Nurse Practitioners, this week and every day.”

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses, Nurse Practitioners and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Violence against health-care workers ‘out of control,’ survey finds

Some 68 per cent of nurses and PSWs report being assaulted, harassed on the job, poll conducted by Ontario Council of Hospital Unions shows.

Linda Clayborne retired last year after 42 years as a psychiatric nurse at a Hamilton hospital. She says she was assaulted many times on the job and witnessed countless incidents of violence against colleagues.

Linda Clayborne retired last year after 42 years as a psychiatric nurse at a Hamilton hospital. She says she was assaulted many times on the job and witnessed countless incidents of violence against colleagues.  (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR) 

A hospital admissions clerk who is stabbed with a pair of scissors.
A nurse whose head and neck are punctured with a pen.
A young father who comes home day after day from his health-care job with a black eye.
According to a new survey of Ontario health-care workers, incidents like these aren’t isolated tragedies. In fact, 68 per cent of nurses and personal support workers across the province have experienced physical violence at least once on the job over the past year, a poll conducted for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions shows. Some 42 per cent experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment or assault.
“Violence is raging really out of control in these hospitals,” said Michael Hurley, OCHU’s president. “The level of physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, verbal assault, and racial name-calling is at a level which is toxic and simply shouldn’t be ignored or tolerated.”
While the vast majority of front-line workers reported experiencing physical violence at least once in the past year, a fifth of those surveyed also said they had experienced nine or more incidents in the same time frame. A quarter reported missing work at least once because of either physical or non-physical violence. Some 83 per cent of respondents said they had experienced verbal abuse on the job.
More than 770 frontline nurses and personal support workers in Ontario were asked about workplace violence. In the past year:

experienced at least one incident of violence
experienced 9 or more incidents of violence
experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment or assault
experienced at least one incident of non-physical violence
have witnessed at least one incident of violence against a co-worker
lost time at work due to violence on the job
Source: Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
Linda Clayborne retired last year after being a psychiatric nurse for 42 years in a Hamilton hospital. She told the Star she has seen countless assaults on the job, and believes many of them could have been prevented through better staffing levels and dedicated security teams who are able to respond fully to violent incidents.
She says she remembers being punched for trying to stop a patient repeatedly kicking a co-worker, seeing a fellow nurse being thrown to the ground and beaten because she asked a patient to leave his food tray in the dining room, and seeing a corridor pooled with blood after a nurse was attacked.
“I’m 62 years old. I’ve been in fights where we’ve had to hold the patient down many, many times. It’s a daily occurrence,” she said. “It’s verbal assault, it’s physical assault, it’s sexual assault.”
But health-care providers surveyed by OCHU also expressed significant concerns around reporting such incidents, with 44 per cent saying they feared reprisal from their employer if they spoke up about violence on the job.
The study polled more than 770 front-line nurses and personal support workers in seven cities including Toronto, and an additional 1,200 workers in other health-care jobs such as admissions clerks, record keepers and cleaning staff. Of the latter group, 24 per cent reported experiencing at least one incident of violence in the past year and 58 per cent said they’d been subjected to non-physical violence.
Last year, the average lost-time injury rate in Ontario was 0.94 claims per hundred workers, while in the health-care sector that figure was 1.35, according to data from the provincial workers compensation board.
Occupational health expert Jim Brophy said those figures may not paint a full picture of workplace assaults because stigma and fear of reprisal leads to under-reporting.
“You have this pressure cooker that people are facing on a daily basis the fear of assault — but you can’t talk about it.”
In September, contract negotiations between the health-care unions broke off when hospitals “refused to agree that we share a common goal of a workplace free of violence,” Hurley said. He said hospitals also refused to write a letter to government asking for investments in workplace safety to prevent violent assaults.
“You’ve got frankly a hierarchal environment where there is a reluctance to acknowledge or address the problem,” Hurley told the Star.
In an emailed statement, the Ontario Hospital Association said it was “disappointed” negotiations broke down.
“It is important to reiterate that the health and safety of employees has been, and will continue to be a priority for both the OHA and our member hospitals,” the email said.
“While we know that the work performed by health-care providers is often challenging and demanding, acts of violence are never accepted as something that staff members should expect to face within the workplace.”
Hurley said the Ministry of Labour has increased workplace inspections of hospitals in response to concerns over violence, and said he wanted to see the Occupational Health and Safety Act amended to include explicit protections against reprisal for workers who report violence on the job. (Workers are already protected against reprisal for refusing unsafe work and exercising their rights under the act.)
Hurley also wants to see money dedicated to installing alarm systems and protective barriers in hospitals.
“They have open hearts. They’re gentle people. And out of the blue, there’s a vicious assault,” he said of health-care workers.
“There’s physical scars here. But there’s also emotional and psychological damage,” he added. “There’s a lot of anguish here.”

Friday, November 3, 2017

ONA Local 8 partners with CMHA!

Local 8 is thrilled to announce their partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) on their Sole Focus Project.

As a strategic partner with the Sole Focus Project movement we assist them to take a stand for mental health and collectively create a legacy fund to further enhance and distribute mental wellness education, awareness and training in our community.

The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

On average, 6,400 clients receive treatment from Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) annually for moderate to severe mental illness.
Education and training are key areas not fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Yet they are key to shifting the tide of mental health stigma.

The Sole Focus Project aims to ease societal and financial burdens on those with a mental health or addiction problem by raising funds towards mental wellness education and awareness, providing training and treatment, and community support.

The more resources and services we can make available to those in need of help, the more we can ensure a mentally healthy Windsor & Essex County, overall.

Support the cause - buy a pair of socks!

Ontario Nurses’ Association Election Results

November 2, 2017

Ontario Nurses’ Association Election Results:
Vicki McKenna, RN is Incoming President, Cathryn Hoy, RN is Incoming
First Vice-President 

TORONTO – London’s Vicki McKenna, RN, has been acclaimed as the Ontario Nurses’ Association’s (ONA) incoming President for 2018-19, and Kingston’s Cathryn Hoy, RN, has been elected First Vice-President.

McKenna, a day surgery nurse from London Health Sciences Centre, will take office as ONA President in January 2018.

“I am thrilled to announce that our 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals will be led by Vicki McKenna in her first term as ONA President,” said current ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “ONA members will be in good hands with Vicki’s leadership. She is a passionate advocate for our profession and for quality patient care, and has been both a dedicated ONA First Vice-President and a reliable support to me during my terms as president.”
McKenna is a registered nurse from London Health Sciences Centre, where she has worked with both adult and pediatric day surgery patients. An ONA member for more than 30 years and an ONA activist for more than 20 years, McKenna says that she will continue to harness the power of the union’s 65,000 members and more than 16,000 nursing student affiliates to fight for quality working conditions for ONA members and quality patient care.
“Nurses know both the challenges and solutions to so much of what is happening in our health-care system right now,” says McKenna. “We are on the front lines each day, and our patients look to us to be their voice. I am honoured that our members have entrusted me to be their voice as we work to improve health care for Ontarians.”

ONA’s Board of Directors will also welcome Kingston registered nurse Cathryn Hoy, elected as incoming First Vice-President, and Laurie Brown, a registered nurse from Hamilton Health Sciences, elected as Vice-President, Region 4.

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Expert Nursing Panel Determines Southlake Emergency Department Needs More Registered Nurses

October 25, 2017

NEWMARKET – An independent panel of nursing experts has made 28 significant recommendations to improve patient care at Southlake Regional Health Centre’s Emergency Department, where Registered Nurses (RNs) had been raising professional responsibility concerns for several years.

"The Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) accepted the evidence and concerns brought forward by Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members and have made strong recommendations to improve patient care in the province’s third-busiest Emergency Department,” notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “The recommendations address what our nurses know are insufficient staffing and dangerous nurse-patient ratios that have left our dedicated RNs unable to provide quality care.”

The recommendations relate to eight practice concerns identified by Registered Nurses within the Emergency Department. The practice concerns included insufficient staffing within the Department, the roles and responsibilities of various positions as well as the reliance on and use of agency nurses. 

The IAC panel conducted its investigative hearings over three days in September. Both ONA and the employer made presentations to the panel. In its presentation, ONA highlighted the more than 100 workload report forms from the RNs about staffing and practice issues. Once the hearing concluded, the panel wrote a report that outlined the following recommendations, including:
  • The need to add at least five permanent full-time RNs to the roster.
  • The need to increase RN hours in the Emergency Department.
  • The need to move to an all-Psychiatric Emergency Nurses’ model in the Mental Health Wellness area.
  • The need to maintain a patient-to-nurse ratio of 5:1 for admitted patients and a 1:1 ratio for critically ill patients during surge.
“Our hope is that we can work with Southlake’s management to implement without delay the IAC’s recommendations,” said Haslam-Stroud. “Hospital management must acknowledge the serious risk to patient care and take action to ensure Emergency Department RNs can provide safe, high-quality patient care to this important patient population.”

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New ONA Campaign about Better Care Starts Here

ONA has just launched a new campaign talking about the need for funding for RN staffing to address hospital overcrowding, to relieve the bottleneck in long-term care and to reduce the pressure on community care.

You will find a number of online emails that you can send directly to your MPP. Under the theme of hospital overcrowding, for example, click on 'more', then 'learn more', and then go to the tab 'Are you being heard?', where there are three different messages you can send. The same format applies to the tabs on the bottleneck in long-term care and the community care deficit, with multiple email messages you can send to your MPP, under the tabs "Are you being heard?' 
Please visit now and take action:

Better Care Starts Here - Angel

Monday, September 18, 2017

Join the next generation of the world's largest, longest-running study of health and wellness

Join the study!!

  • Nurses or student nurses 19–51 years old in the US and Canada:
    Be part of the world-famous Nurses' Health Study! Contribute to groundbreaking research on lifestyle, environment, nurses' worklife, and wellness by giving one hour of your time online a year.
  • Nurses' Health Study is recruiting 100,000 nurses and student nurses.
    230,000 nurses have participated since the 1970s. NHS3 is the next generation of the Nurses' Health Study!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Natyshak bill aims to help emergency workers with PTSD

 Essex MPP Taras Natyshak introduced a Private Member’s Bill Thursday to include first responders who were left out of Bill 163. The bill provides post-traumatic stress disorder benefits to first responders who face violence and trauma at work.
Sue Sommerdyk will never shake the horrific memory of trying in vain to save the lives of three little girls.
Still haunted by that day a decade ago, when three children died in a house fire, she applauded the introduction Thursday of a Private Member’s Bill to give nurses and other front-line workers benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I did CPR and watched each one of those little girls die,” said Sommerdyk, a nurse for 35 years and the local co-ordinator for the Ontario Nurses’ Association Local 8. “Then I had to go up to my unit, I had to give the report on my patient and I had to sign off. Then I had to go home, I had to look at my children and I had to pretend that everything is OK. It emotionally destroys you but we’re expected to just keep going.”
Essex MPP Taras Natyshak has introduced a Private Member’s Bill to include first responders who were left out of Bill 163. The bill provides post-traumatic stress disorder benefits to first responders who face violence and trauma at work.
Natyshak said the bill needs to be “corrected” because some key job sectors were left out of the bill, including probation and parole officers, extended police service employees and nurses.
“These workers have to deal first-hand with the very worst impacts of violence and trauma,” he said. “They endure violent traumas, and are exposed to the cumulative effect of years of being exposed to primary and secondary trauma. They shouldn’t have to continue to relive these traumatic events as they are forced to prove their PTSD is work-related through a long, cumbersome and expensive WSIB appeals process.”
Sommerdyk said the Ontario Nurses’ Association has been fighting for years to get such a bill.
“ONA has been strongly advocating for the change to that legislation since before they put it out, so of course anyone who can help push that agenda forward and get nurses recognized, we support,” she said. “We need to have nurses added to that legislation. The fact that the government left us out of the post-traumatic stress disorder legislation was a real let down for not thinking that we’re first responders.”
Sommerdyk said many nurses suffer from depression, PTSD and other mental health issues after years of coping with countless devastating situations.
“Where nurses face the death of a child, particularly if it’s abuse,” said Sommerdyk. “Violence at work. Hit, kicked, punched. Nurses have been stabbed. Nurses have been shot. The verbal abuse is unbelievable. We have to intervene when patients are being treated poorly by their families. The death of a patient that is unexpected that you’ve worked hard to deal with. Every possible thing that you can think goes wrong and could happen, nurses are there at the front line.”