It is my privilege and pride to write my first blogpost as ARNBC President. I hope all B.C. nurses have heard the strong praise and congratulations that have been received from nurses across Canada for our co-hosting of the 2012 CNA Biennium Convention. The Convention was an enormous success and an appropriate place to recognize and celebrate 100 years of our professional nursing association in B.C. We shared a sense of history and continuity as ARNBC proudly continues the tradition of providing a nursing association in B.C.
B.C. nurses were also congratulated for having the largest showing of delegates at the CNA AGM. In total, 38 B.C. nurses maintained an active and dynamic presence at the microphone, presenting and debating motions related to nursing’s policy voice, Aboriginal nursing leadership, and the need for ongoing vigilance and action related to the change in the nursing exam. The leadership of these 38 BC nurse delegates was recognized and applauded by Canadian nurses at several points over the course of the Biennium.
Incoming 45th CNA President Dr. Barbara Mildon, in her presidential address, remarked that B.C.’s showing of “38 of 38 was nursing democracy in action!” ARNBC extends sincere appreciation to all 38 delegates and we are resolved to find ways to ensure that active participation of B.C. nurses in the professional association is realized – provincially, nationally and internationally. Many of the delegates commented on how they were energized and inspired by being active in the national dialogue and voting.
Other convention highlights exemplified the convention theme: Nurses Movers and Shapers. B.C. nurses were honoured by the generosity of eminent Canadian nurse Dr. Verna Huffman Splane who hosted a garden party in recognition of ARNBC and its work to re-establish a nursing association in the province, providing the opportunity for voting delegates to meet with Canadian nurses and ICN CEO David Benton. Check out pictures from this event in our Garden Party photo gallery!
Outgoing President Judith Shamian and incoming President Barbara Mildon inspired us with their messages of unity , strength and action. Nurses’ everyday contributions were shared by RNs at the convention. Dynamic keynote speakers provided perspectives on how nurses and nursing can move and shape policy and politics in the interests of health. There were social media presentations including one by ARNBC President Elect Julie Fraser, Andrea Burton and Sean Cranbury, our Monkeytree Creative communications team, with recognition from convention delegates on the achievements of ARNBC in reaching out to B.C. nurses through social media. Many of the speeches and presentations can be found on the CNA Biennium page, or view ARNBC's onsite interviews of B.C. nurses sharing their thoughts on the Biennium and the new association.
In other news, a CNA Board of Directors meeting was held in Vancouver just prior to the convention, which engaged board members in key policy directions of importance to nurses and patients. At the board table we engaged in dialogue and deliberation with Dr. Michael Mayne, Deputy Health Minister in PEI and co-chair of the Council of Federation’s Health (COF) Innovation Working Group. We ensured that the voice and input of registered nurses was provided so as to inform the work of the COF that will be rolled out in the near future. Stay tuned for announcements expected over the summer which we will post on the ARNBC website.
A noteworthy contribution to the health of Canadians and the sustainability of our health-care system was the launch of the National Expert Commission’s final report – A nursing call to action. Carried out under the auspices of the CNA this is a truly inspiring work to be celebrated by the nurses of Canada. Next steps are now being considered and will be proposed September 2012.
Other actions taken by the CNA BOD were to approve key concepts in position statements on harm reduction and on primary health care. We also agreed to speak out publicly in support of interprofessional primary health care service delivery models that are based on global funding and fair compensation for all health professionals and to speak out and take action on political issues that are currently influencing the health of people in our country and beyond.
Over the next year, I will keep you informed and seek ways to involve you in the work of CNA and ARNBC and other members of our board will also be posting their news from time to time. Please contact us with your ideas for meaningful connections and ongoing discussions.
On behalf of all of us at ARNBC, I wish you a safe and healthy summer.
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.