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Ann Kennealy is president of Local 013 of the Ontario Nurses' Association, which represents hospital nurses.
She is a recovery room nurse who works in the operating rooms where she said she has seen "vital" surgeries cancelled. The recovery room is being used to house patients 24 hours a day because there isn't room to transfer them to appropriate units, said Kennealy. The hospital simply doesn't have the capacity to do what it is meant to do. "We are putting the wellbeing of our community at risk," said Kennealy in her letter. The provincial government must take immediate action to solve the crisis "or they will continue to put us all at risk," she said.
Ann Kennealy was quiet when asked about the effect of Sudbury's baby abduction on her nurses. A registered nurse, Kennealy is outspoken on a variety of issues as president of Local 013 of the Ontario Nurses Association, which has more than 1,100 members at Sudbury Regional Hospital. "Yes, it is (horrible)," said Kennealy earlier this week about the affect the abduction had on her members. "There really isn't much to say.I don't think (nurses) need to be reminded of anything ... it's pretty fresh." In the meantime, nurses are "going to work and doing their job as they always will, as they always do," said Kennealy. Kennealy agrees there has been a loss of innocence on what should be the happiest floor at the hospital - the place where new life begins. "I think there is something to that," said Kennealy.
Ontario Nurses Association Local 013 president Anne Kennealy is concerned that at least five of her members working in ambulatory care at Sudbury Regional Hospital (SRH) have been offered early retirement packages.The hospital will hire a different classification of nurses - Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) - instead of Registered Nurses (RNs) to replace her members, she said. RNs usually have a university degree, whereas RPNs have a college diploma. She said the early retirement offers are all part of SRH's government-approved "recovery plan."Offering early retirement to the RNs and replacing them with RPNs is better than outright layoffs, said Kennealy. But she still wishes it wasn't happening.Measures taken under SRH's recovery plan to reduce costs have forced nurses to work harder than they ever have, said Kennealy.
Ann Kennealy, president of Local 13 of the Ontario Nurses' Association, had a simple response to the premier's budget promise."Where is he going to find them?"Kennealy asked late Tuesday afternoon. Not enough people are graduating from nurses schools to replace those ready to retire, said Kennealy.At Sudbury Regional Hospital, for instance, at least 100 registered nurses are 55 and older and could retire any time. There are several nursing vacancies that the hospital can't fill now, said Kennealy. Unless the premier has a strategy for increasing enrolment in nursing programs and making the profession more attractive to graduates, it will be impossible to hire the number of nurses needed to care for aging Ontarians. Kennealy said when the premier talks about hiring 9,000 more nurses, he's referring to a combination of registered nurses and registered practical nurses. As far as she knows, McGuinty wasn't able to meet the commitment made during his government's first term to hire 8,000 more nurses.Figures released by the Liberal government indicate 2,000 more nurses were hired. Kennealy also questions whether the nursing positions McGuinty is talking about are full-time.
Ann Kennealy, president of Local 013 of the Ontario Nurses' Association, noted many of the problems in an interview with The Star's Carol Mulligan in February.Kennealy said the poor state of the ER department was bad not only for patients, but for staff.