RNAO Task Force to release report with recommendations on how to recruit and retain nurses in rural, remote and northern communities

TORONTO, May 6, 2015 – Two long-time northern residents with years of experience working in health care will unveil a set of recommendations during Nursing Week (May 11-17) aimed at making sure there is an adequate supply of nurses to care for patients and clients living in rural, remote and northern areas of Ontario.

David McNeil, Vice President Patient Services, Clinical Transformation and Chief Nursing Executive of Health Sciences North and Louise Paquette, Chief Executive Officer of the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) were appointed to co-chair a provincial task force set up by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) in April 2014.

McNeil, also a former president of RNAO, and Paquette spent a year examining the state of the nursing workforce and the challenges facing communities looking to attract and keep an adequate supply of nursing staff. They consulted with more than a dozen experts and health groups and received input from registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP), and registered practical nurses (RPN) working in public health, primary care, nursing stations, home care, acute care, complex continuing care and long-term care.

RNAO says identifying the opportunities and barriers that affect nursing retention and recruitment are essential if the government and health organizations want to improve access to care and optimize the health of people who live in rural, remote and northern communities.


  • David McNeil, Chief Nursing Officer of Health Sciences North
  • Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East Local Health Integration Network
  • Tim Lenartowych, Director of Policy, RNAO


  • Release of Rural, Remote and Northern Nursing Workforce Task Force Report


  • Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics, 359 Riverside Drive, Unit 107, Sudbury, P3E


  • Monday, May 11, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

This year marks the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) 90th anniversary. RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a nurse, please contact:

Marion Zych
Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Phone: 416-408-5605


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