Vicki McKenna, President Ontario Nurses’ Association
Vicki McKenna was elected as the President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) effective January 1, 2018 after serving six terms as First Vice-President on the Board of Directors.
McKenna has been an ONA member for more than 30 years, and an ONA activist for 20-plus years. A registered nurse since 1979, she has served on various positions on the Local 100 Executive Committee, and as Local Coordinator. She also has served on many ONA provincial committees and teams, including the Hospital Central Negotiating Team of which she is now Chair. As well, she participated on the Local 100 Independent Assessment Committee, addressing professional and workload concerns at London Health Sciences Centre.
McKenna believes ONA’s success at lobbying the government to improve conditions for nurses – and thus, quality patient care – lies in using our collective voice through meetings with MPPs and media relations. She feels strongly that ONA’s 65,000 members have power, and by working with our allied associations and unions, we can leverage that power. McKenna says nurses are on the front lines and are the experts on health care issues and delivery. As experts, who have the respect and confidence of the public, nurses should exercise that voice to advocate for patient care, their profession, and to maintain and improve our health care system.
She has the passion to fight to improve the social, economic and general welfare of registered and graduate nurses and allied health professionals, and to ensure that ONA members have employers that respect their staff and the work they do, and provide a workplace environment that allows members to practice as they were trained.
McKenna practises as a registered nurse in the day surgery unit of London Health Sciences Centre, working with both adult and pediatric patients and their families.