From better funding to guaranteed work (yes you read that right), Ontario is the place to nurse. Cast aside all notions of working elsewhere (for now anyway). Here are eight inspirational, motivational and monetary reasons to be a nurse in Ontario.
- Nurses are needed more than ever in Ontario. The biggest population cohort, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), is aging. Currently, the province’s ratio of 72 nurses to every 100,000 people lags behind the nation’s average (83 to every 100,000)! Nurses can anticipate rapidly expanding health care needs in the home and the community. Plus a greater value being placed on illness prevention in society and nurses have an integral role to play in that.
- The Ontario government wants you to have full-time employment. Ontario’s Nursing Strategy is a Government of Ontario initiative that tackles instability in the nursing workforce on a number of fronts, including full employment of nurses. Specifically, the government is committed to moving towards having 70 per cent of Ontario’s nurses employed full-time. In 2000, only half of all Ontario RNs were working full-time. Now, thanks to a political initiative by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario advocating for 70 percent full-time employment, close to 65 percent do!
- New nursing graduates are guaranteed to work in Ontario. Thanks to the Nursing Graduate Guarantee, an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care strategy, all new Ontario nursing graduates (RN and RPN) are guaranteed to work for a minimum of 12 weeks. This ensures you get hands-on experience and opens doors to future employers.
- The Ontario government puts it money behind nurses. Check out all the nursing support from helping Internationally Educated nurses integrate into the Canadian work force to helping to sponsor a local Registered Nurse to obtain Nurse Practitioner funding at Health Force Ontario's Government Funding for Nursing Education.
- There are a wide array of fabulous different and unique places to live and work. One in three Canadians call Ontario home, and given its fabulous geography, diverse population and industry hub, it’s little wonder. Ontario offers tremendous career opportunities for nurses in a world-class health system. From the hustle and bustle of a big city like Toronto or Ottawa, the wide-open lakeside lifestyle of Muskoka or the majestic north there are plenty of places to spread your wings. “I loved nursing in the remote North so much I’m moving there!”Did you know that nurses working in northern areas of Canada report higher job satisfaction scores than nurses working in other areas, likely due to more autonomy. Source: Canadian Nursing Association “As a rural nurse, I learn something new every week,”
- Ontario nurses have some of the strongest professional and peer support networks in the country. Ontario Nurses’ Association ONA is Ontario’s nursing union. It represents 55,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, and more than 12,000 nursing students providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry. Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario RNAO is the professional association representing over 36,000 registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. College of Nurses of Ontario CNO is the governing body for the 145,000 registered nurses (RNs) and registered practical nurses (RPNs) in Ontario. The College sets requirements to enter the profession, establishes and enforces standards of nursing practice, and assures the quality of practice of the profession and the continuing competence of nurses.
- There are more grant opportunities—to support your life-long career development—than ever. The Nursing Education Initiative (NEI) Grant Program, funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, aims to financially assist nurses’ knowledge and skills through professional development. And at the start of 2013, the government changed the calculation method for awarding grants, which will ultimately work better to provide more nurses with grants. The NEI reimbursement program is administered for registered nurses by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) and the for registered practical nurses by Registered Practical Nurses' Association of Ontario (RPNAO).
- Nurses have a voice within the Ontario government. Ontario’s Nursing Secretariat, part of the Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, was created in 2000. Its role is to provide strategic advice on health and public policy issues from a nursing perspective. The formation of the Secretariat is recognition of the important role nurses play in health care delivery. It has spearheaded a number of strategies to promote nursing including the Nursing Education Initiative (see #7).