On June 15, more than 150 RPNs joined together for a virtual Nursing Summit to take actions with the aim of bringing changes to the profession. It was a day full of political engagement, education, and empowerment.
We discussed how systemic gender inequities impacts care professions. The patriarchal belief that women are more caring and compassionate has led to a misbelief that nursing is a job without significant risks. The pandemic has highlighted that it is a profession with tremendous health and safety risks. We all know that nursing professionals deserve better compensation for their hard work.
Our members participated in a session that highlighted the amount of compensation that goes unpaid to nurses. This comes from additional compassionate hours nurses provide their patients/clients/residents such as missed breaks or lunches. You can calculate that number for yourself at seiunurses.ca.
We also conducted a call blast to the Premiere of Ontario, Doug Ford, to let him know that RPNs deserve better, including a respectable living wage and improved staffing levels. You can also join this Take Action for RPN campaign here.
Some of our nurses bravely shared stories of the challenges they have faced during the pandemic. Sharing our stories is an essential tool to bring attention to the significant changes nurses need, including more respect, protection, and pay. If you can, please share your vision stories here.