Happy New Year to all B.C. nurses. As we move into 2013, I hope all of you had opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation over the holiday season and appreciate time with your family and friends.
I am excited about 2013 and the many opportunities that are ahead of ARNBC in the coming months. We experienced significant successes in 2012 and the Association has gained support from nurses in all corners of the province, from our colleagues and stakeholders within the profession and from government. We have been especially proud of a number of key milestones that occurred during 2012:
- holding our first AGM where B.C. nurses elected a new Board of Directors
- having the opportunity to represent the voice of nurses in policy discussions with government and at conferences and events
- being named the official representative for all B.C. nurses to the Canadian Nursing Association
- participating in a number of key healthcare meetings with government, our regulatory college and other healthcare associations
- hosting province-wide consultations where we listened to the ideas and concerns of nurses in big hospitals and small communities across B.C., with a commitment to working together to address their concerns and advance their ideas
- making inroads into re-establishing the professional practice and specialty nursing groups that so many nurses have told us they miss
- continuing leadership in social media and nursing
The ARNBC Board has been inspired by the commitment B.C. nurses have to building a relevant and influential professional nursing association. This blog provides numerous examples of how nurses are bringing a nursing perspective to a wide range of social, health and public policy issues. Please continue to express your ideas, challenge assumptions and share your thoughts through our social media channels, or consider guest-authoring a blog by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting with the Minister of Health
Julie Fraser (President Elect) and I met with Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, the Minister of Health, on December 6, 2012. This was a very important and positive meeting, which gave us an opportunity to talk about how ARNBC can bring the nursing voice to health and social policy development in an even more direct way. We were able to share the key policy issues that have been identified not by our Board, but by B.C. nurses at the Nursing Forum in 2011 and during the ARNBC 2012 Consultation. Specifically, we talked about the importance of advancing role of RNs and nurse practitioners in primary care, the need for greater interprofessional collaboration, seniors care, and challenges and opportunities around nursing skill mix and care delivery models.
Canadian Nurses Association Board of Directors
In November 2012, we took CNA to Parliament Hill and held meetings with 45 parliamentarians and senators. We engaged in advocacy efforts to promote equity-based health-impact assessments for all cabinet and federal government department policy and program decisions. We also championed the top five in five: the achievement of a top-five ranking among nations on five priority health and systems performance outcomes by 2017. We hosted a reception on Parliament Hill for 65 politicians, reinforcing our advocacy efforts to create the best health outcomes for Canadians.
The CNA Board recognized the important decision made by Health Canada to publish new regulations with more prescribing authority for nurse practitioners (NPs), midwives and podiatrists. These new regulations will enable NPs to provide Canadians with the advanced level of care that is in keeping with their expanded education and skills. Another highlight of the meeting was witnessing the first vote cast at a CNA board meeting by a student representative.
During the board meeting, we approved key resources to guide nursing advocacy efforts in mental health, primary care and harm reduction. We had a robust discussion about flu shots and supported the Position Statement on Influenza Immunization of Registered Nurses.
Connecting with Students and Specialty Groups
Key student events during the fall of 2012 provided us important feedback and ideas in building an innovative nursing association. There was amazing energy from the students and nurses at the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association Western Conference, the Camosun College/University of Victoria Event, the North Island College Scholars Event, and the University of Fraser Valley fourth year political action class. Selkirk College students worked on a leadership project to raise awareness about professional associations and North Island College students facilitated a meeting of nurses in the Comox Valley to explore reinventing a local chapter.
We also had an opportunity to bring together representatives from a number of specialty nursing groups to discuss how to revitalize the network of specialty and professional practice groups which were an important part of the B.C. nursing community for so many years.
In 2013, we will continue to focus on engagement with B.C. nurses, development of key partnerships, and sustainability of the association. New opportunities to engage with us to build the associationwill continue to be posted on our website and we will update you on our policy work. We encourage you to stay connected though our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about these opportunities.
Thank you for your ongoing support in establishing a strong, effective and relevant provincial nursing association.
Dr. Susan Duncan is a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. She has over 30 years of experience in nursing practice, education and leadership roles. Susan has represented nursing on regional health and hospital boards and completed a term on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing in 2011.