Nightingale News
Nightingale News

Winter Edition 2010



Message from the President

It’s safe to say that if you’re an RPN working in Ontario, you’re engaged in the day-to-day details and requirements of your job. But are you also engaged in your profession?
Becoming actively engaged in the issues and ideas surrounding the nursing profession can have a profound positive impact – for your career and your profession. 
Not everyone can find time to participate in meetings or attend professional events. But engagement doesn’t need to be that formal. One of the easiest ways to get involved is to read the materials you’re already receiving from organizations like the College of Nurses of Ontario and RPNAO.
This newsletter (and our quarterly magazine) is a good place to start. Or invest a few minutes to read the mailings you receive from the College of Nurses of Ontario. And maybe take it a step further by starting a discussion with your colleagues about what you’ve read. If you have questions, odds are they do as well.
Do you have student nurses in your unit? Why not take the opportunity to teach them how to advance their profession as well as how to care for patients.
Being engaged doesn’t require a plane ticket or a conference agenda. It’s about making a conscious decision to become a more active, aware participant in your profession. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Fellow RPNs,

By now, you’re probably familiar with the ambitious survey RPNAO has been undertaking for the past several months. On behalf of everyone here at RPNAO, I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this important survey, which has now become the largest ever data-gathering initiative to capture the experiences and opinions of RPNs in the province of Ontario. You and your colleagues around the province have risen to the occasion and provided tremendous and insightful feedback on the state of the nursing profession in Ontario.
As part of our desire to be as inclusive as possible, the survey was sent in two phases: Phase I was distributed to those RPNs who are current members of RPNAO, as well as for whom we had e-mail contact details. Phase II was sent to RPNs who are not currently members of the association, but who are registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario. The goal was to give as many RPNs as possible an opportunity to provide us with their valuable feedback.
We received 1,461 responses from Phase I and 838 responses from Phase II - fantastic response rates that exceeded our expectations. To ensure integrity and comparative data, the survey questions were identical for both phases of the survey. Due to the high level of engagement and resulting responses from both phases of the survey, the data we have gathered is plentiful and the analysis is currently underway. Many trends have been identified thus far and we look forward to sharing the complete results with each of you very soon.
Thank you once again for investing the time to complete this survey. And please know that we will put action and effort toward the areas of focus that will help drive growth and strength within our profession. Stay tuned for a comprehensive report on the survey findings.

Dianne Martin, RPN, RN, BScN
Executive Director,
Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
p.s. The lucky winner of the iPod Touch draw was Bhasantie Bishundeo. Congratulations!

What's new at RPNAO?

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve added the Canadian Action Network for the Advancement, Dissemination and Adoption of Practice-Informed Tobacco Treatment (CAN-ADAPTT) to the list of ‘Practice & Education’ Resources on RPNAO’s website. CAN-ADAPTT is a practice-based research network aimed at developing a national clinical practice guideline (CPG) for smoking cessation and implementing it into the work of nurses and other healthcare practitioners. This Health Canada-funded project invites you to participate. .
We all know that smoking puts patients’ health at risk. When patients hear this from their nurse, it helps reinforce the message that reducing or quitting smoking is in their best interests. Asking about patients’ tobacco use and advising them to quit is part of the brief intervention you can provide, as recommended by CAN-ADAPTT’s guideline.
Here’s a quick excerpt from the Summary Statements on the CAN-ADAPTT website:
1. ASK: Tobacco use status should be updated, for all patients/clients, by all health care providers on a regular basis 1,A
2. ADVISE: Health care providers should clearly advise patients/clients to quit. 1,C
3. ASSESS: Health care providers should assess the willingness of patients/clients to begin treatment to achieve abstinence (quitting). 1,C
4. ASSIST: Every tobacco user who expresses the willingness to begin treatment (to quit) should be offered assistance. 1,A
a) Minimal interventions, of 1-3 minutes, are effective and should be offered to every tobacco user. However, there is a strong dose-response relationship between the session length and successful treatment, and so intensive interventions should be used whenever possible. 1,A
5. ARRANGE: Health care providers:  
a) Should conduct regular follow-up to assess response, provide support and modify treatment as necessary.
b) Are encouraged to refer patients/clients to relevant cessation resources as part of the provision of treatment, where appropriate.

*GR – Grade of Recommendation, LOE – Level of Evidence; available online at www.can-adaptt.net

Get Involved!
Join the CAN-ADAPTT network and be part of the research and knowledge exchange between healthcare providers, researchers and policy-makers. As a member, you can:

• Access the latest evidence-based CPG and contribute to its development,
• Use the discussion board to connect/collaborate with other nurses and healthcare professionals in Canada,
• Post questions, receive feedback and disseminate information and resources, and
• Access resources and updates including the latest evidence and upcoming conferences.

Visit www.can-adaptt.net to access the CPG and participate in the ongoing conversations about smoking cessation and tobacco use in Canada.

For more information, please contact Tamar Meyer, Ontario Provincial Coordinator, CAN-ADAPTT, (416) 535-8501 x 7446, tamar_meyer@camh.net.

Practice and Education

Education: Leadership Course

Participants in the recent RPNAO Leadership Course said they benefitted from great discussions and a stimulating exchange of knowledge in a rich learning environment. The eight-week course wrapped up on December 3, 2010. Since then, we’ve received numerous requests for additional courses and we are pleased to inform you that our next course will be offered this winter, beginning February 7, 2011.

Overview: The Leadership Course is available for RPNs and other healthcare professionals through the new RPNAO online learning system. The course is designed to provide participants with education and tools to support leadership development.
Program Length and Delivery: The program is an eight-week eLearning program, beginning February 7 and ending March 28.
Prerequisites: Participants must have access to a computer and should possess basic computer skills to participate in the electronic class discussions.
Course Description: A critical examination of leadership in nursing, system structure, policy-making process and change management to increase leadership at the individual RPN level. Leadership theories and the role of nurses in the health care system are examined, focusing on the role of the practical nurse.

Course Cost:

• RPNAO Members $275+HST= $310.75
• Nonmembers $357.50 + HST= $403.98

Registration is now open. Participants can register through :
The RPNAO website (www.rpnao.org) or by calling Dipti Parikh at RPNAO at (905) 602-4664 (extension 234).

Participants outside the GTA can call toll free at 1-877-602-4664 (extension 234).
For additional information, please contact Annette Weeres at aweeres@rpnao.org.

Research Update

With Phases 1 and 2 of RPNAO’s survey now successfully completed, we are looking forward to continuing our research by moving into Phase 3, which entails the focus groups interviews.
We want to thank all of you for the overwhelming response to our call for volunteers for this next phase of our research. More than 1,000 RPNs from across the province offered to participate in these focus group discussions. We anticipate beginning our focus groups in cities across the province in January 2011. The participants for the focus groups will be randomly selected and contacted by email. If you don’t receive an invitation, we thank you in advance for offering to support our research and we want to reassure you that we will be providing you with alternate methods of communicating with us and your peers across Ontario, since your feedback is so important to RPNAO. 

Leadership/Clinical Practice Fellowships

Attention: Call for Abstracts for the RPNAO Leadership/Clinical Practice Fellowships
The deadline is Monday January 24th, 2011.
Don’t miss your opportunity to participate!

This Fellowship opportunity, administered by RPNAO, highlights and enhances the expertise and leadership abilities of RPNs. Through an application/proposal process, nurses (along with a mentor), will develop a learning plan and budget to address an identified a gap within the workplace.

How to apply
An abstract (up to 500 words), must be submitted electronically in Word document format, accompanied by a brief biography. All abstracts must be submitted by email to rhernandez@rpnao.org by January 24th 2011.

Your abstract should state the problem, issue or project in the first paragraph. Briefly describe the manner in which it was addressed and describe the findings, conclusions or solutions to the problem or idea. Evaluate the relevance of this study, innovation or strategy to other administrators and the relevance to other settings.

Selection process
All abstracts will be submitted to and reviewed by the selection committee.

All abstracts will be acknowledged by email upon successful online submission. Selection will be completed and acknowledged by email by January 31, 2011.

Nurses must have three to five years of experience as an RPN, with at least one year of practice in the relevant clinical area of focus. Successful applicants may be asked to submit a full application/proposal.

Other information
All proposals must be submitted by March 31, 2011
. Completing the fellowship requires accepted RPNs to dedicate themselves
to a 400-hour/10 week, full time period. Notification to all applicants will be sent by email by April 15, 2011.

Please refer to the RPNAO website for additional details.

Nursing Education Initiative FAQs

Q: What criteria do you use to determine whether an application is accepted or declined?

A: All applications are assessed in accordance with the priority criteria established by the MOHLTC (see page two of the application form), and are evaluated using a numeric rating system to objectively tabulate eligible claims.

A weighting/scoring system is applied to applications received and considers the following:
• Nurses who have not received $1,500 from this fund previously,
• Nurses working in priority clinical areas (hospital, public health, long-term care and community sectors), and
• Nurses taking specialty clinical education which meets needs in:

- Cardiac Care
-Community Care
-Complex Continuing Care
-Critical Care
-Home Care
-Mental Health
-Oncology/Cancer Care
-Operating Room
-Palliative Care

• Education being provided at the college/university level
• Nurses working or attempting to work on a regular basis


Nurse Profile:

Debbie Hooper


“The Children's Wish Foundation is a wonderful organization and it is a privilege to be able to support this family on their Wish Trip. The opportunity to support a child's wish provides a sense of contributing, making a difference in someone’s life.” – Debbie Hooper


Make-A-Wish Canada is a part of the largest wish-granting organization in the world and is found in over 35 countries. The organization’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in order to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The first Canadian Make-A-Wish chapter was established in British Columbia in 1983. Today, thousands of wishes have been granted to children across the country.

Debbie Hooper will be accompanying a child on a Make-A-Wish Disney Caribbean Cruise in January 2011. Debbie explained that when the foundation approved the family for this trip, the family was able to personally select two accompanying nurses. Because of their familiarity with the child, Debbie and another RPN were selected to accompany the family on the trip. Debbie will provide eight hours of care per day for the duration of the eight day trip. And while she is familiar with the child, Debbie is also preparing for new challenges associated with providing care in this new and unfamiliar environments (including a ship and airline), as well as the wheelchair accessibility issues that can be encountered during travel.

Debbie is currently employed by Partners in Community Nursing in the Paediatric Division where she provides community paediatric care for patients ranging from newborns to 21 years of age. She has served in this role for the past 10 years. Debbie enjoys her role in community and values the opportunity to help children with special needs meet their ADLs while in school or at home. On a typical day, Debbie will accompany a child to school, provide ‘cluster care’, where she supports multiple children in different classes and, at the end of the day, will accompany a child home.

Working in the school system, she routinely faces challenges ranging from allergic reactions to children that could require suctioning. Debbie feels very welcomed in the school where she currently works and the staff continues to be very supportive. She says one of the most rewarding parts of her role is the satisfaction she gets helping children have the best possible experience while in school.

Debbie became interested in nursing when she was a medical secretary for two years at the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital. She quickly realized she wanted a more active role in health care than simply typing reports. She graduated from Durham College in Oshawa from the Certificate in Nursing (RPN) Program in June 1995 and has been an RPN for the last 14 years. Her nursing experience includes working in a nursing home, a psychiatric hospital, a community foot care role and in pediatric nursing. Debbie believes that continuing education is extremely important to providing best care and has updated her knowledge through conferences on topics such as palliative care, paediatric norms and non-violence crisis intervention.

A mother of three children, Debbie is actively involved in her church nursery. She is also planning a trip to Lima, Peru to work in a children's orphanage in association with the group Kids Alive. Debbie says “It is very rewarding to help families cope with the special needs of their children. Being an RPN is great because we are the bed-side specialists.”