As we move forward into 2015, and my final months as president of ARNBC, I value this opportunity to reflect on ARNBC’s achievements over the past year and look ahead to the future that is unfolding for the Association and nursing in BC. I am so proud that through the hard work and dedication of many nurses in BC, ARNBC has grown into its role as the professional voice for nursing leadership, policy and practice in British Columbia.
In January 2015, registered nurses and nurse practitioners began the registration process with the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC). This was an historic occasion as, for the first time CRNBC began collecting professional association fees on behalf of ARNBC. Through the Health Professions Act, the province has set a visionary and revolutionary precedent by providing professions with the ability to self-regulate in the interest of the public, while continuing to advance their profession and influence change for health and social policy issues.
Upon registration, CRNBC is now collecting a total of $450.18 from each registered nurse and $651.48 from each nurse practitioner. When you register, you will notice that a total of $98.82 is allocated as Association fees. Of this, CNA receives $57.69 and ARNBC receives $41.13. It is important to note that registration fees for individual nurses have not increased at all.
At this point in the registration process, nearly half of you have already registered for 2015, and just over 85% of you have clearly indicated that you want to hear from ARNBC and CNA. This is a fabulous show of support and validates what so many of you have been saying for the past decade – B.C. nursing needs the contributions of all three nursing organizations – the College, the Union and the Association. We value the trust you have placed in us and regard it as our responsibility to move forward with you in the months and years to come. That said, we are pleased to offer all registered nurses and nurse practitioners access to all ARNBC and CNA programs and services – even if you have chosen to not receive our information updates.
ARNBC continues to build a strong relationship with our national organization, CNA. As president of your Association, I sit on the CNA board of directors where I have the honour of raising health and nursing issues from a B.C. perspective at the national level. CNA continues to be one of our greatest partners and ARNBC is one of many associations and nursing groups that make up the CNA Board. We value their support and leadership in recognizing ARNBC as the best option for B.C. nurses to connect on a national and international level. ARNBC’s status as the CNA jurisdictional representative provides B.C. registered nurses and nurse practitioners with more than a subscription to Canadian Nurse: opportunities to be a voting delegate, chances to inform on CNA resolutions and bylaw forums, engagement in federal lobbying initiatives and connecting with specialty nursing groups.
My greatest hope is that over the next weeks and months, nursing in British Columbia will begin to unify to claim the strong, compassionate, and informed voice that our patients have come to expect and trust from us. The College, the Association and the Union all bring unique but important perspectives to patient care and health system improvements – and at a time when there are so many important issues to manage, we need to work together for the health of our patients and the advancement of our profession.
As you can see, our list of achievements is long and growing steadily longer, in large part because you have told us what you would like to see in an Association. We are excited to be heading out to many parts of the province over the next few months, and hope that we will meet as many of you as possible and you will share your vision for what an Association can do for you. Every single conversation with a registered nurse or nurse practitioner is important to the Association. After all, your voice is our strength!
ABOUT JULIE FRASER, RN, MN, ARNBC PRESIDENT
Julie Fraser is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the area of Home Care. She has been a registered nurse for more than 15 years and has practiced in a number of different settings from residential care to acute medical and surgical care units, before focusing on community nursing, working in both clinical and educator roles.