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President’s Address

Contributor

We Are Reimagining Nursing

As an instructor in the Practical Nursing Program at St. Lawrence  College, I always ask my students why they decided to pursue nursing as a career. The most common response is that they want to use their talents, skills and compassion to care for people  especially when  they’re at their most vulnerable.

Isn’t that what drives us all  When a patient, client, resident or family member looks at you with all sincerity and expresses their gratitude? Maybe it was through a hand-squeeze. Or perhaps it was a heartfelt “Thank you” or “I couldn’t have gone through this without you.” 
 It’s been hard to hang onto these moments over the last two years. We have seen things and felt anguish we could have never imagined. Many of us witnessed exceptional hardships. Many had or needed to take a break. Some of us left the profession. It’s safe to say that we all struggled in some way.
 But we still cared for our patients, clients and residents as best we could. Even when we thought we couldn’t handle anymore, we raised the bar.
 And amidst all the politics, there are days when it’s hard to believe that anyone noticed us. But they did. And as we move into a “new normal,” I look back and can confidently say that I have never been prouder of my profession and my fellow RPNs.
 What does our future look like? How will we see things in

a month or a year from now? I know some of us are asking ourselves that question. 
 I see us finally being valued for the talents and skills we’ve exhibited for so long because we’ve demonstrated

how essential we are to the health of our communities.
I imagine a world where RPNs, RNs, NPs and physicians work together, valuing the work and scope of each other,
all with the common goal of providing quality care. 
 I imagine RPNs being able to show compassion for ourselves – while supporting our colleagues across disciplines. I imagine RPNs lending a hand when we need help, a shoulder when we’re in crisis, and an ear when someone needs someone to listen to them.
 We were presented with an enormous challenge – and we rose to the occasion. We have all the skills, talent, and fortitude to make Ontario and Ontario’s nursing profession the best
it was supposed to be. We can create the world we hoped for when we left nursing school.

Suzanne Schell, RPN President, WeRPN