Ontario Newsroom

ER Nurses Improving Access To Care

Archived News Release

ER Nurses Improving Access To Care

McGuinty Government Reducing Time Paramedics Spend In Hospitals, Creating Jobs

Ministry of Health

Ontario is helping hospitals create more nursing positions dedicated to assisting patients who arrive in emergency rooms (ERs) by ambulance.

The province is providing $9.6 million for municipalities to create over 90 ER-dedicated nursing positions across the province. These nurses help reduce the time paramedics spend in hospital ERs by providing care to non-priority patients who arrive by ambulance. This allows paramedics to respond to other calls in the community rather than attending to patients in the ER.

Municipalities that have hired dedicated ER nurses in the past have reported seeing significant improvement in offload delay.

Hiring more ER-dedicated nurses is a key part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

Quick Facts

  • This year's funding level represents a $4.6 million increase over last year.
  • Since 2003 the government has created more than 10,000 nursing positions and exceeded its goal of creating 900 nursing positions in 2009/10.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Thanks to the hard work of these nurses, we have seen a significant reduction in ambulance offload delays at hospitals. We are proud to continue this program because it allows ambulances to return more quickly to the community and be available to respond to other emergency calls.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness