Leadership Notes

Message from RNU President

March 14, 2023

Everyday there are new challenges, new hurdles, and new opportunities that the RNU is navigating due to a health care system in crisis and critical nursing shortage. And we know the same is true for our members. It isn’t easy, and your union recognizes that.

Thank you for continuing to show up and fight for better health care for your patients, clients, residents, families, and communities. But we also know that even showing up is getting harder and harder to do.

We are listening to you, always. We hear your cries for help. We hear your anger and frustration. And we are fighting hard to make things better for registered nurses and nurse practitioners in NL.

I still believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the nursing crisis in NL. There has to be. There is no health care without us.

There are various efforts and initiatives being brought forth by government, employers and health care workers. Yes, some of these efforts are misguided and do not go far enough. You deserve better and so do the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. That light at the end of the tunnel is hard to see, but it’s there and we won’t stop.

Right now, recruitment is a huge focus for government. We are tirelessly pushing for our province’s decision makers to realize they need to prioritize retention. How can we support bringing in new RNs when the ones who are already here are burnt out and struggling to find reasons to stay? With alarming vacancy rates, recruitment seems like a quick fix. But it doesn’t address the real problems that are pushing our members out of a profession they love.

Our team is extremely busy, with bargaining being the key priority focus. We are having strategic and purposeful discussions with government to ensure a fair and respectable contract is negotiated for our members.

That shows RNs and NPs they matter. That values the incredible expert care you provide every single day and recognizes the sacrifices you are making. And that fairly compensates you.

Governments must recognize the law of supply and demand applies to health care as it does in every other industry.  We have to be competitive and offer salaries and incentives that will not only attract RNs but retain the ones we have. We must create better working conditions and improve access to leave. Through our Beyond Broken campaign and continued media presence, we are building public awareness and support for a better deal for our members.

We are also pushing for government to make a real investment in nursing in this year’s provincial budget. The nursing shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing health care right now and the RNU is insistent that government understand that an investment in nursing is key to stabilizing our very strained health care system.

Your union is strong, solid and committed to this fight.

Please keep standing with us and make your voices heard. Share your stories, demand more from your government and keep showing up. Help push out the Beyond Broken campaign messaging. Share the videos and images and encourage your networks to do the same.

Keep the faith and know that we are working so hard to get this right. Your priorities are our priorities.

Together, we will keep fighting and pushing for our profession and health care system.