Dianne Martin New Executive Director of the RPNAO
by Lesley Hain
Dianne Martin has seen nursing from both the front lines and behind the scenes for almost 30 years and passion for the profession can still be heard in her voice. She’s worked at seven hospitals throughout Ontario, predominantly in perinatal care, and has seen the role of nursing staff continually evolve. A former registered practical nurse (RPN), Martin recently became the Executive Director of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO). The association champions the professional interests of 32,000 RPNs.
“One of the goals is to make sure RPNs are working within the full scope of their practice. We lobby and advocate for nurses based on what they should be doing and what creates a good working environment,” Martin explains.
When Martin started nursing, she graduated from an RPN program straight out of high school. Since then, educational standards have changed. Martin has kept up with the times and advanced in her career. In 1998, she graduated as a registered nurse (RN) with a diploma in nursing from the Owen Sound Campus of Georgian College. She will finish her bachelor of science in nursing ( BScN) from York University this spring and currently works part-time at a hospital in Newmarket. As executive director of the RPNAO, Martin investigates issues such as the nursing shortage and why nurses are leaving the profession.
The answers aren’t easy, she says. “RPNs are not being allowed to do what they are taught in school. They are very skilled, but many organizations find it easier to maintain the status quo,” said Martin. “If they are not carrying out all the functions they are trained for, how will they maintain their competencies over the years?”
I don’t think I’ll ever stop going to school. I’m a lifelong learner and a lifelong nurse.
Martin recently worked as a professional practice co-ordinator, where she was able to lead a hospital to provide the full scope of practice for all nurses, including significant expansion of the role of the RPN. It’s important that working conditions promote professionalism and morale, says Martin, because RPNs who love their jobs are the ones who often pursue higher education and advance through the world of nursing. Martin’s nursing background is a valuable asset to Georgian College, where she serves on the Nursing Curriculum Advisory Committee. She describes the current curriculum as “excellent” and is impressed with the competencies of Georgian graduates.
Her own time at the Owen Sound Campus was a great experience. Martin recalls that the 30 graduates, ranging in age from late teens to well into their 50s, had more than 70 children among them. Instructors were “very supportive of the fact that we had lives.” “The class sizes were small and we had one-on-one attention. There was a real bonding among the younger and older students. Everyone brought their own experiences with them and it was a really positive atmosphere.”
Martin is a great role model for nurses — and for her three daughters, one who plans to enter the profession. Her next goal is to work toward a masters degree. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop going to school,” says Martin. “I’m a lifelong learner and a lifelong nurse.”
20th Annual Georgian Classic
This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club in Orillia.
The Georgian Classic Golf Committee would like to extend a personal invitation to participate in the following ways.
* Enter a team – 4 person scramble with Mens, Ladies and Mixed Divisions – Cost: $200.00 per person
* Become a tournament sponsor,
* Provide a gift to our live or silent auction.
The annual Classic is a very prestigious event and we at Georgian are proud of its enduring history. Together over the 20 years, we have raised $558,000 to support student awards and scholarships. We know these funds have helped make a difference in our students’ lives. We hope you will accept our invitation to spend the day with us at the 20th Annual Georgian Classic. For tournament information visit our website, for information on sponsorship please contact Hank Thibideau, Chair, Classic Golf Committee by e-mail.
Tourism Management 25th Anniversary Reunion
Alumni, reserve these dates: Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 2007 for a weekend you’ll never forget!
* Tour of The Robert Simpson Brewery,
* Sunset Boat Cruise,
* Afternoon Golf Tournament,
* Dinner and awards in the Georgian Dining Room,
* Hug me Pub in The Last Class, Campus Bar.