Increase wages for RPNs

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Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) have long been overdue for a wage re-evaluation. In July 2020, the CNO submitted regulation to expand RPN scope to complete certain controlled acts that they could not do before without an order. With the continuing increase of their scope closer to RNs, their wages have not reflected what they are responsible for.

In long term care, daily RPNs are required to be in a supervisory role to PSW staff, help on the floor especially when short staffed all while continuing their own duties of medication administration, treatments of creams/wounds, assessing patients/residents, calling physicians and calling families. In long term care, RPNs have to be in charge of units anywhere from 25-40 residents. That's medications for almost every resident plus any treatments they may have plus be "team leads" to PSWs and complete their daily duties. If there is no RPN to work certain units, some rpns even have to split and add those units to their own.

In the hospital setting, RPNs are utilized in the Operating room, Emergency room and Recovery room. Some hospitals have RPN’s in the ICU and in specialty care units such as psychiatry CCU. They are used in specialty day units administering life saving treatments such as blood and iron infusions, chemotherapy and biologic administrations that up until recently were only administered as an inpatient treatment. RPNs work along side and directly with many specialists doing primary care with their out patient clinics. Pre and post op care of trauma and cancer reconstructive surgeries, removing sutures, staples and completing intensive dressing care to post operative incisions and wounds. They Perform MMSE and MOCA evaluations along with other cognitive function examinations to potential dementia patients. RPNs also perform veinipuncture and IV insertions and give treatments directly thru the port or picc line. RPNs are active in research studies either as the study coordinator role or nurse role administering the study medication. They also work in pediatrics and run pediatric day units. All these additional tasks are just some examples of the scope of practise expected of RPNs. They work directly along side the RN doing the exact same responsibilities and we do it all for much less than an RN.

Now, the Ford government has given PSWs a temporary wage increase of $3 in hopes to make it permanent in March. This is 100% deserved to PSWs as they are often overworked, shortstaffed and do physical work daily but we are asking for Ford's government to re-evaluate the wages of RPNs. The temporary wage increase to PSWs places many PSWs close or above the wage of an RPN. One long term care home will now have a new RPN making only $0.50 more than a tenured PSW. Tenured RPNs will make $2.50 more. This is unjust for all the responsibilities that RPNs have. After having gone to school 2.5 years, paying increasing licencing fees yearly to the CNO and being held accountable RPNs deserve more. 

The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN) has recently sent a letter to the Ford government asking for support for RPNs. We need your support too. 

 

*Disclaimer: this is a petition on behalf of RPNs by fellow nurses and members of the public who support nurses. It is not co-ordinated by WeRPN*