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New Nurses’ Health Program launched
Today, the new Nurses’ Health Program (NHP) was launched. This voluntary program encourages nurses to seek treatment for substance use and/or mental health disorders. NHP is a recognized best-in-class approach to treating these issues and is modelled on similar ones that other regulated health professions in Ontario are using successfully.
To develop the new program, CNO collaborated with the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). Lifemark Health Group is administering the program.
“The College of Nurses is pleased to be working together with these nursing organizations,” says Anne Coghlan, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of CNO. “Our focus reflects the balance needed to protect the public while supporting nurses in recovery.”
Substance use and/or mental health disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or occupation — including nurses. Without appropriate treatment and monitoring, these disorders can impact a nurse’s ability to practice nursing safely.
NHP offers a proven approach for nurses experiencing these disorders to get the help they need. It recognizes these disorders as illnesses and takes a non-punitive approach that reduces stigma and focuses on recovery, while maintaining the processes already in place to safeguard the public.
“At CNO, we support the philosophy that nurses experiencing these disorders should have an opportunity for education, treatment and recovery,” says Coghlan. “We believe that with the right support, nurses can continue or return to safe nursing practice, which strengthens public protection .”