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More than an RN,

less than enough

A Campaign about Fairness

Is anybody listening?

Newfoundland and Labrador has a nursing shortage.

Overtime and understaffing are no way to run a health care system…or a life. Long before we faced a pandemic, Newfoundland and Labrador has been dealing with a serious nursing shortage. 

This advocacy campaign, More than an RN, less than enough is a brave but necessary admission. It speaks to the unfairness of putting registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in circumstances where no matter how much they give, it’s never enough. It’s less than enough for patients because there simply aren’t enough RNs.

And less than enough for RNs and their families, as they can never “leave” work, figuratively, and too often, literally.  Work for an RN is all-consuming.

Unsafe Staffing. Unfair Expectations.

RNs and NPs are vital professionals in our health care system.  But they are also people with partners, children, aging parents, community commitments and family responsibilities. Too often their lives are put on hold as they struggle to deliver care in our understaffed and under resourced health care system. 

 

It’s time to realize they are more than RNs. They are people with lives and limits – and they are broken. 

 

Providing high level care and advocating for patient needs is in the DNA of every RN and NP. It’s why they pursued a career in nursing. But how can they provide the best possible care when they are given less than enough resources and less than enough staff?  RNs and NPs contribute greatly to the wellbeing of our province. Employers and government must protect their wellbeing too.

A Message from Our President

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“RNU is calling on the provincial government and employers to take action. Short term and long-term solutions are needed to address inadequate staffing and the recruitment and retention of RNs and NPs.”

RNs and NPs are vital to the system. They are skilled and highly trained professionals, who provide “round-the-clock” care to patients. They assess, educate and advocate for their patients in ways others cannot. Yet, despite the incredible value RNs and NPs bring to our system and their constant commitment to patient care… the system is not taking care of them. Our members have been navigating an under-staffed and precarious health care system for far too long, working dangerously long hours and sacrificing any resemblance of a work-life balance along the way. It’s taking a toll on them. They are more than RNs, but what they face is less than enough – for their families, their patients, and health care. Research shows more RNs and NPs mean better patient outcomes, earlier interventions, and fewer complications and readmission.
With proper staffing, recruitment, and management practices there can be a solution. We all need to see change now. 

Yvette Coffey, RN

President

A Reality Check

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480

300,000

800

1100

Vacancies in 2021

Doubled in 1 year

Overtime hours annunally

Equivalent of 153 full time positions

RNs due to retire

In the next two years

Code White calls (violent attacks)

10,000

The number of people in the 12 communities and 3 schools one RN can be responsible for

0

Days of annual leave many RNs are told they can take off from May to October 2021

RNs and NPs are patient advocates

1/8

Our Voices

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Pamela Ryan, RN
Public Health
Ashley Jones, RN
Infection Prevention and Control
Yvette Coffey, RN
President

"RNs and NPs sacrifice on a daily basis. They sacrifice their mental and physical wellbeing so NL’ers get the best care they deserve."

"We've had issues with recruitment and retention for quite some time...and we've been battling and struggling to keep afloat."

"I would love to be more involved with the high school health education program but time is just not available to help them. Really, that's what public nurses are supposed to be doing. That's one area that suffers."

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Margot Antle, NP
Collaborative Team Clinic
Nikki Parsons, RN
Perioperative Program

"It’s devastating for me to know that I’m not going to achieve everything I hope to achieve on my drive into work because I don’t have enough time or because there isn’t enough of me…"

"I think if anybody was to ask me about being an RN or an NP, I would have to ask them to think about it. Not that it's not extremely rewarding work. It's really hard work, there's really tough days so be prepared for the tough days."