By Dr. Sally Thorne
For any nurses who have never had the opportunity to attend a provincial nursing awards event, you might want to try to work that into your travel plans for a future year. Once again, hundreds of nurses gathered (April 19th) to recognize and acknowledge some of the incredible contributions made by their colleagues to nursing practice, administration, education, research and advocacy. As each citation was read aloud and the visual images of the recipients were displayed on the screen, every nursing heart in the audience beat just a little faster. The accomplishments were amazing, as diverse as the profession itself, visionary, important, and far reaching.
Some were very local – such as an inspiring initiative to bring accessible primary care services to homeless people in a small community. And some were incredibly global – such as bringing proactive infant feeding initiatives to 120 countries. These nurses were not simply good at what they do, but they were also taking meaningful action to create the conditions under which nursing could do its thing better, and societies could be better served. Their stories were the epitome of a nursing policy voice in action!
As every account was read, and one of our nursing colleagues took his or her position in the limelight, you could almost hear every nurse in the room thinking “yes, if I worked with that nurse, I’d want to nominate them too.” And most of the nurses being honoured were somewhat stunned and surprised to find that their colleagues thought their work to be anything special. Every one of them had a litany of colleagues and collaborators who had worked with them on every initiative, and had they been allowed time at the microphone, many many more stellar nursing names would have been acknowledged.
We are truly grateful that the CRNBC has continued the tradition of the awards as set out by the former RNABC. In the transition from a combined association/regulatory body to a regulatory body alone, it would have been natural to eliminate the program or devolve some of these awards – especially awards pertaining to things like Advocacy. But this opportunity to come together to showcase and acknowledge what our profession is made of is a precious resource for nursing pride in BC, and one that all of us in ARNBC will want to support and celebrate. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the excitement and pride in that room could be captured and shared with every nurse – and every nursing student – in the province? We all deserve a dose of the abject pleasure that derives from seeing how amazing their nursing colleagues – and all of us – really are.
Dr. Sally Thorne, RN is a Professor at the UBC School of Nursing, where she has been a faculty member for over 25 years. A nurse researcher and educator, she draws attention to the contribution of professional nursing to the lives of persons with cancer and chronic disease. She represents nursing as a board member in the non-profit and health sectors both in British Columbia as well as nationally.