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Creating More Opportunities For Nurses

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Creating More Opportunities For Nurses

McGuinty Government Celebrates National Nursing Week

Ministry of Health

Nurses play a key role in delivering health care and are now using more of their skills to take on diverse roles within the system, benefiting all Ontarians.

Since 2003 the government has created more than 10,000 nursing positions and exceeded its goal of creating 900 nursing positions in 2009/10. Today, many of these nurses have received specialized training that allows them to provide a broader range of health services.

At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Minister of Health highlighted the Registered Nurse-Surgical First Assist (RN-SFA) program in hospitals. Originally a pilot program, these nurses work with the surgeon and the rest of the operating room team to ensure patient safety before, during and after surgery.

In addition, the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG) program ensures every Ontario nursing graduate has the opportunity to work full time in the province. There have been 8,200 placements under this program across the province.

Today's announcement supports the government's five-year Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

Quick Facts

  • Studies have shown that RN-SFAs help to reduce surgical wait times, increase patient access to surgeries, improve patient safety and outcomes, and enhance a team-based model of care.
  • Since 2003, the ministry has invested over $1 billion in a range of nursing initiatives that enhance education, recruitment and retention of Ontario nurses.
  • The government is committed to having 25 new Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics in operation by 2012.

Additional Resources


“Nurses are an essential part to providing optimum health care for Ontario's patients. Developing new roles for nurses is also a great way to keep them practising in Ontario's health care system.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Today's announcement represents a step forward in recognizing the knowledge, skills and compassion that nurses bring to our health-care system. RN-SFAs' expertise is central to reducing wait times, and this is great news for patients who need and deserve better and faster access to surgeries.”

Doris Grinspun

Registered Nurses Association of Ontario

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness