Staffing shortages and unsafe workloads have gotten so bad in Ontario that 50% of registered practical nurses (RPNs) are considering leaving the profession for good, according to a new study.
The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN), representing the voices of over 55,000 nurses, also revealed that nearly seven in 10 nurses say they’re unable to provide adequate patient care due to a lack of time and resources.
“I believe these findings will shock the public,” said Dianne Martin, chief executive officer of WeRPN. “Alarmingly, this is now being normalized.”
Nurses today are working more hours, taking on more responsibilities, and handling more patients, all without any adjustments to their wages.
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An overwhelming 79% of nurses admit that they’ve experienced a breaking point related to their job. 86% of nurses admit their mental health is being adversely affected because of the work they do.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Premier Doug Ford said this is not a problem unique to Ontario.
“Every province is feeling the pressure,” he said. Ford continued to urge the federal government to increase health funding because the way things are now is not “sustainable.”
“I want to be clear Ontarians continue to have access to the care they need when they need it,” said Ford.
One day earlier, on August 2, Toronto General Hospital announced its ICUs are at full capacity and therefore under a “critical care bed alert.”
At this time, the Ontario Nurses’ Association reports more than 20 hospitals have had to shut down due to staff shortages.