There are a number of new health care choices and changes introduced today for Ontarians.

New Provincial Chief Nursing Officer (PCNO)

Ontario’s new Provincial Chief Nursing Officer (PCNO) is Debra Bournes.  She will start her new duties at the Provincial Chief Nursing office on June 13, 2011.

The duties of the Provincial Chief Nursing Officer include:

  • helps to advance a nursing agenda that will benefit both nurses and patients,
  • provides strategic advice on health and public policy issues from a nursing perspective and
  • participates in several nursing committees and working groups.
  • Since 2003, the government has created over 11,000 nursing positions.

Here is a very brief bio of Debra Bournes:

  • Debra Bournes has been a nurse since 1990.
  • She most recently has worked as the Director of Nursing, New Knowledge and Innovation, at the University Health Network in Toronto.
  • She has been a leader in health care research and administration for more than 15 years.
  • Her research in nursing recruitment and retention has been widely presented and published, and has led to collaboration among several provincial health care organizations and nursing unions.
  • In 2009, she received the Leadership Award for Nursing Research from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario for her work on developing a research culture among health professionals.
  • Bournes is the lead developer of the 80-20 professional development model for nurses, which says that nurses should spend 80 per cent of their working hours on direct patient care and 20 per cent on professional development activities.This model influenced the policy behind Late Career Nurse Initiative.

Congratulations to Debra Bournes!

Nurse Practitioner’s New Duties and New Clinics

  • There are seven Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics currently operating in Ontario and 18 more that will open by the end of 2011/12.

Please click here to read about the government’s nursing initiatives.

Late Career Nurse Initiative

At one end of the age spectrum for nurses is the Nursing Graduate Guarantee program (since 2007), ensuring new nursing graduates are offered the opportunity to work full time in the province within six months of graduation.

At the other end of the age spctrum is the Late Career Nurse Initiative whereby nurses 55 years and older stay working longer, through opportunities for less physically demanding work, such as mentoring other nurses and teaching patients.

Now more front-line nursing care are available for Ontarians.

Ontario’s announcement today kicks off Nursing Week which runs from May 9 – 15.

The interesting statistics about these two programs are as follows:

  • More than half of last year’s graduating class – more than 2,600 nursing graduates – participated in the Nursing Graduate Guarantee program.
  • Since 2004, more than 15,200 experienced nurses have taken part in the Late Career Nurse Initiative.
  • The redeveloped Health Care Options web site is giving Ontarians a brand new way to access and learn about the many health care options – like Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics – in their communities.

Please click here for info about supporting nurses throughout their careers.

More Health Care Choices and Changes for Ontarians

More Health Care Choices and Changes for Ontarians

Ontario Expands Health Care Services

  • Establishing the first three Centres for Complex Diabetes Care to help people living with diabetes.
  • Lowering emergency room wait times by creating more short-stay unit beds to improve patient flow. Ontario has some of the shortest wait times of any place in Canada.
  • 25 nurse practitioner-led clinics, the first of their kind in North America, will be open by the end of 2011-12. The clinics are expected to serve more than 40,000 patients who currently don’t have a family health care provider.

Please click here for more info about your health care options and alternatives to a hospital ER.

“But these results are only the beginning” because “there is still more to do” as in tomorrow:

  • May 10, 2011, 12:30 pm, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews will make an important announcement about expanding screening services for women at high risk for breast cancer at:

Princess Margaret Hospital, 610 University Avenue (please use Murray Street entrance) , 7th Floor Atrium, Toronto, Ontario.


  • For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)
  • Neala Barton
    Minister’s Office

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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