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What is it?
The registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) represents nurses across Ontario. The RNAO is the leading voice of the nursing profession which influences and promotes healthy public policy. (RNAO, n.d)

Mission Statement
Our mission is to pursue healthy public policy and to promote the full participation of registered nurses in shaping and delivering health services now and in the future. We believe health is a resource for everyday living and health-care a universal human right.

We cultivate knowledge-based nursing practices, we promote quality of work life, and we promise excellence in professional development services.
Respecting human dignity, we are a community committed to diversity, inclusivity, democracy and voluntarism. We make leadership our mandate, working with nurses, the public, health-care providers and governments to advance individual and collective health.” (RNAO, n.d)

Organizational Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity

The RNAO is committed to providing an environment that is free from racism, prejudice, discrimination, and harassment. They try to reflect the diverse communities within the organization (board, staff, members and students) and promote access to the programs and services offered.
The RNAO will ensure:
  • Policies and protocols, programs and services eliminate systemic barriers and promote positive, inclusive relations
  • Understanding and mutual acceptance of diversity among its board, staff, members and students
  • Whenever possible, the board, staff, members and students reflect the diversity of the community it serves
  • Fairness and equity in all of its operations, including access to employment opportunities and program and service delivery
  • Board, staff, members, students and communities, as well as its affiliates in the province, understand and promote the Diversity and Inclusivity Statement and the Human Rights Code.” (RNAO, 2007)

Membership
The RNAO consists of over 29,000 registered nurses and student nurses in Ontario who support the associations ongoing political activity.
· Inform the government of issues that affect registered nurses and the health care services they provide
· Inform CEO’s, senior hospitals and community administrators
· Inform other decision-makers and organizations that affect the nursing practice and health care
· Position registered nurses through positive media and influencing campaigns (RNAO, n.d)


Member Benefits
The RNAO offers many benefits that help you to save money which eventually offset your membership fees. Some of the benefits inclue:
· Upon joining the RNAO you automatically become part of the Canadian Nurses Association, as well the International Council of Nurses
· You receive discounts on education programs such as conferences, workshops and chapter events
· After one year of membership, members become eligible for educational loans, repayment isn’t required until completion of courses
· complete home and auto insurance coverage, with convenient monthly payment plans
· Legal assistance programs
· With membership (excluding students not yet registered with RNAO) receive membership with the Canadian Nurses Protective Society
· Disability Insurance (RNAO, n.d)


Interest groups

Complementary Therapies Nurses' Interest Group (CTNIG)
  • Provide vision, support, direction, and leadership for the advancement of CT in nursing practice, education, research, administration and political arenas.
  • Support nurses to engage in self-care practices.
  • Promote quality of work life for nurses through integration of CT in the workplace (Complementary Therapies Nurses' Interest Group, 2009).

Independent Practice Nurses (IPN)

  • Represent the interest of Registered Nurses in independent practice
  • Provide awareness to nursing colleagues and the general public about Registered Nurses in independent practice
  • Encourage research into best practice guidelines for Registered Nurses in independent practice. (Independent Practice Nurses, 2009)

Men in Nursing Interest Group (MINIG)
  • Educate the general public (communities), stakeholders , students and nurses about men in nursing and the profession
  • Support men in nursing
  • Strengthen the image of nursing across genders
  • Conduct workshops/conferences (Men in Nursing Interest Group, 2009)


Mental Health Nursing Interest Group (MHNIG)
Interest Group Objectives:
1. As an interest group of RNAO, to actively support the initiatives of RNAO.
2. To provide a forum for communication and the exchange of ideas.
3. To lobby for improved mental health/psychiatric care in institutions and in the community.
4. To collaborate with mental health consumers/survivors, family groups, and other mental health professionals.
5. To lobby on behalf of mental health nursing for the recognition of and positive image of mental health nursing.

To find out more
about their interest groups visit the RNAO website at www.RNAO.org

(Birmingham City University, 2009)

Education & Funding
The RNAO also provides educational support and funding to provide options to help nurses and/or nursing students improve their practice. There are three options that the RNAO provide and they are: Nursing Education Initiatives, Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships, Education Loans & Scholarships and Permanent Education Fund Policies.

Nursing Education Initiative – In March 1999, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care established a nurse training and education fund for RN’s and RPN’s. The RNAO is proud to be involved in this initiative.
This type of funding is used to provide ongoing funding to nurses to increase their knowledge and professional skills to enhance quality of care and services provided in Ontario. (RNAO n.d).

Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships – This is a nurse mentoring experience which was aimed at developing and promoting nursing knowledge and expertise, and improving client care and outcomes in Ontario (Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships n.d). This program is designed with the RN’s best interest in mind and takes a self-directed type of learning that encourages nurses to develop clinical, leadership or best practice guideline implementation of knowledge and skills with support from the RNAO, mentors and the clinical setting the nurse is placed in.

Education Loans and Scholarships – After the first year of joining the RNAO, members are eligible to sign up for an education loan. The repayment of the loan does not start until after the full completion of your course. There is also no interest until one year after the repayment begins (Education Loans and Scholarships n.d).
The RNAO also provides students with scholarships to help out with their academic finances. There may be requirements with regards to GPA standings in order to qualify for one of their scholarships. There is an application on the website that one can fill out to apply for a scholarship and loan.

References

About the center. (n.d.). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/ Page.asp?PageID=1224&ContentID=&SiteNodeID=132&BL_ExpandID=

Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships. (n.d.). Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&SiteNodeID=144

Birmingham City University. (2009). Mental Health Nursing.Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8JRMJ5c1w

Complementary Therapies Nurses' Interest Group. (2009). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from, http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=662&SiteNodeID=113

Education Funding. (n.d.). Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=861&SiteNodeID=136

Education Loans & Scholarships. Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=619&SiteNodeID=136&BL_ExpandID=

How to Join. (2009). Registered nurses' of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=605&SiteNodeID=109&BL_ExpandID=

Independent Practice Nurses. (2009). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=651&SiteNodeID=113

Membership. (2009). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=861&SiteNodeID=109

Membership Benefits. (2009). Registered nurses' accociation of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=751&SiteNodeID=149&BL_ExpandID=

Men in Nursing Interest Group. (2009). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from,
http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=1725&SiteNodeID=113

Mental Health Nursing Interest Group. (2009). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from,
http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=645&SiteNodeID=113

Mission statement. (n.d.). Registered nurses' assiciation of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=615&SiteNodeID=108&BL_ExpandID=

Nursing Education Initiative. (n.d.). Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=749&SiteNodeID=263&BL_ExpandID=

Organizational statement on diversity and inclusivity. (2007, April). Registered nurses' association of ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=1901&SiteNodeID=108&BL_ExpandID=

Permanent Education Fund Policies. Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=1356&SiteNodeID=136&BL_ExpandID=