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Board Update: Happy New Year 2013 to the Nurses of British Columbia

The final weeks of 2012 were very busy for ARNBC representing B.C. nurses as their jurisdictional representative at CNA, bringing priority nursing issues to meetings with B.C. government officials and inspiring local connections among nurses. We continue to be inspired by the commitment of B.C. nurses to the development of a relevant and influential professional nursing association in the province. Recent posts by nurses featured on our blog (www.arnbc.ca/blog) are examples of how nurses can and are bringing a nursing perspective to a wide range of social, health and public policy issues.

Meeting with the Minister of Health - December 6, 2012
In December, ARNBC Board Members Susan Duncan and Julie Fraser met with Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, B.C. Minister of Health.The meeting allowed us to explore opportunities that will advance the voice of nursing in health and social policy. We shared the key policy issues identified by B.C. nurses at the Nursing Forum in 2011 and throughout the 2012 Consultations including:

  • Advancing the RN and NP role in primary care, nursing skill mix and care delivery models,
  • Interprofessional collaboration,
  • Seniors care.

During the meeting we emphasized the importance of involving nurses in all aspects of healthy public policy - development, implementation and evaluation.

The Minister acknowledged the importance of including a nursing perspective in policy development and we look forward to bringing this nursing voice to policy in B.C.

CNA Board of Directors – November Meeting and Day on Parliament Hill
Susan Duncan, ARNBC President and CNA Board Member, has shared highlights of her participation in the CNA Board of Directors meeting and Parliament Hill Day in which Board members met with 45 parliamentarians and senators. Taking direction from the Expert Commission Report (www.cna-aiic.ca/expertcommission/), the CNA Board engaged in advocacy efforts to promote health-impact assessments for all cabinet and federal government department policy and program decisions. CNA 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. The CNA Board hosted a reception on Parliament Hill for 65 politicians, reinforcing  its advocacy efforts to create the best health outcomes for Canadians.

The CNA Board applauded Health Canada for publishing new regulations with more prescribing authority for nurse practitioners, 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.

The Board also approved key resources to guide nursing advocacy efforts in mental health, primary care and harm reduction. This included a lively discussion and support for the Position Statement on Influenza Immunization of Registered Nurses. Another highlight of the meeting was witnessing the first vote cast at a CNA board meeting by a student representative.

Connecting with Student Nurses
Key student events during the fall of 2012 provided us with important feedback and ideas around how to further build an innovative nursing association. There has been amazing energy from students and nurses at the Canadian Nursing Students' Association Western Conference, the Camosun College and University of Victoria Event, the North Island College Scholars Event, and the University of Fraser Valley  4th 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. Events such as these provide students and nurses with the opportunity to connect with other nurses and discuss strategies to support their professional practice.

2013 Priorities
In 2013, we will continue to focus on engaging B.C. nurses, developing key partnerships, and ongoing sustainability of the Association. New opportunities to work with us, innovative ways to connect with nurses, and continued updates on our policy work will be posted on our website and social media channels.

We continue to publish blog posts as a way to present opinions on current topics and to stimulate dialogue and understanding of complex issues. As you will see from our blog post of January 8,we are responding to recent media attention on the role of the Nurse Practitioner in B.C. ARNBC continues to advocate through media and other channels for the cost-effectiveness of health care teams and the difference that NPs and other RNs make to quality patient outcomes. Please continue to express your ideas, challenge assumptions and share your thoughts by commenting on our blog.

Thank you for your ongoing support in establishing a strong, effective and relevant provincial nursing association.