Director, Policy and Communications

The Association

The Registered Practical Nurses Association (RPNAO) is the professional association for Ontario’s 50,000 Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). Their role is to advocate for a quality health care system and appropriate utilization of RPNs within that system. They are voluntary membership based and along with their advocacy for health care and RPNs, they offer malpractice insurance and other benefits of membership.

RPNAO ( has been in existence for 60 years. They are a well established organization. They work closely with important external stakeholders, most significantly, the government of Ontario as well as organizations that provide care (hospitals, long term care homes etc). They are the single unified voice for RPNs in Ontario in all sectors of healthcare.


The Position

Reporting to the CEO, you will be responsible for providing health care policy support and advice related to strategic direction to the RPNAO staff, Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors when required, on a wide range of economic and policy issues affecting the sustainability and quality of health care in Ontario, particularly in relation to nursing. In addition, you will lead communications throughout the organization. You will work with government officials, external organizations, RPNAO staff, board and membership to identify issues, compile and analyze information, and provide advice on appropriate policy positions and communication strategies.


Major Responsibilities


Policy Development

  • Work with provincial government staff and industry organizations to provide early identification of policy issues that may impact nursing and health care
  • Compile information and prepare analyses
  • Analyze data and assess the potential impact of policy initiatives including business risk management programs on health care
  • Develop analysis and scenarios for assessment of health care programs
  • Prepare policy directions and strategies to implement in response to these initiatives
  • Pursue opportunities to help refine and improve health care policy
  • Provide awareness and education on health care and nursing policy issues
  • Support specific research projects relating to key policy issues
  • Provide support to board meetings and appropriate health care and nursing committees and working groups
  • Provide strategic thought leadership on government health care policy issues affecting the RPNAO
  • Advise the CEO and/or government on the implications of policies, including trends, risks, and developments.
  • In collaboration with all departments, lead and manage the research and analysis required to produce RPNAO white papers, policy memos and reports.
  • Lead various forms of research including phone and in-person interviews as well as statistical analysis of health data in Ontario.
  • Prepare briefings on relevant health care and nursing issues 
  • Analyze, synthesize, and summarize dense and complex information accurately, clearly, and within a short time-frame.
  • Produce and regularly update baseline data on key established metrics
  • Assist with writing grant applications and the drafting of research proposals and reports
  • Provide strategic advice to the CEO as required
  • Monitor issues related to emerging policies/trends pertaining to nursing and health care





  • In conjunction with the CEO and the external GR consultants, assist in developing a strategic government relations and advocacy strategy
  • Coordinate the development of clear and strategic policy messages
  • Establish good working relationships with senior government officials at both political and bureaucratic levels
  • Coordinate messages and contacts for local member (MPP & MP) advocacy strategies
  • Act as spokesperson for the RPNAO when required
  • Produce talking points, briefings, research notes, and PowerPoint presentations for both internal and external audiences
  • Represent RPNAO in meetings, coalitions, panels and at conferences
  • Meet with key health care stakeholders across the province to both gather input for response to policy development  
  • Write regular articles and updates and provide strategic advice regarding content for RPNAO member newsletter and website and other materials as required.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with appropriate health care leaders
  • Promote public understanding of the dilemmas that RPNs and nurses face through fact based evidence.
  • Assist with grant-writing
  • Work to become a thought leader and a sought after key public policy speakers


Location: Mississauga



  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Communications, Political Science or related subject
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • 5 + years experience in the area of policy development, communications and government relations
  • Knowledge of health policy at the regional, provincial and federal level
  • Detailed knowledge of Canada Health Act, Regulated Health Professionals Act and other legislation impacting health and nursing
  • Broad knowledge of government policy process and experience dealing with government officials
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills for preparing and presenting information
  • High level of capability in the areas of analytical, research and problem solving skills
  • High degree of professionalism for representing RPNAO at meetings of government officials, health care organizations, stakeholders and the public
  • Ability to work collaboratively with wide variety of health care stakeholders
  • Strong organizational, project, and program management skills
  • Ability to work on a wide range of issues simultaneously
  • Willingness to work on teams and good conflict resolution skills
  • Understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research processes
  • Ability to think in innovative ways
  • Strong analytical, research and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to prioritize deliverables and meet deadlines
  • Advanced skills with MS Office suite


To sum up, we are looking for a positive minded, innovative professional who would thrive in this unique culture. You will have a direct impact to effect change while having a work experience that would be difficult to find with a larger organization You will play a key role in developing policy strategies and messaging for government officials and stakeholders in the health care field. You must have a desire to address social issues, an awareness of the social determinants of health and a compassion for all people.


How to Apply

To explore this opportunity, email your resume to

**Please include a writing sample.

For further information contact Mike McCarthy at 416-413-1177.