The Association of Registered Nurses of BC

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ARNBC Continues to Update Position on CRNE/Requests meeting with CRNBC

On January 26, 2012, the ARNBC Board of Directors sent a letter to the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia, requesting an immediate meeting take place between the two organizations to discuss the questions and concerns BC nurses have raised regarding the December 14, 2011 announcement that the CRNBC (and nine other Canadian regulators) has selected the National Council of State Boards of Nursing of the US "to partner in the development of a state of the art, computer-adaptive RN entry exam" to be implemented in 2015.

The ARNBC Board has asked that this meeting take place no later than February 5, as we believe this issue is of significant concern to nurses in British Columbia.

Our letter to the CRNBC Board noted:
  1. We respect the fact that CRNBC holds the legal authority to make decisions related to the qualifications to practice nursing in BC, and that enactment of professional self-regulation includes the participation of board members who are accountable for decisions of significance to the profession and public safety. However, this decision has created widespread concern and raised serious questions among BC nurses, as it has among nurses across Canada.
  2. ARNBC is working to ensure that nursing's professional voice is heard on issues that affect the profession overall. To date, little information has been made available to BC nurses about the process through which CRNBC has come to this very important decision, the reasons CRNBC has determined that the new examination is the correct course of action for British Columbia, or the impact that this decision may potentially have upon the profession in this province and across Canada. This information is critical in assisting nurses to understand and evaluate the CRNBC decision to change examination provider.
  3. The ARNBC Board seeks assurance that the CRNBC will engage nurses throughout BC in an open and transparent process of dialogue and feedback related to the proposed examination. Since this decision has significant and lasting policy implications for nursing across Canada, we ask that the CRNBC not commit BC to the proposed examination change until a transparent, comprehensive process of consultation and accountability is in place.
ARNBC is seeking the CRNBC's response to the following questions:
  • What assurance can you provide that the new examination will reflect a level of nursing practice that is consistent with agreed-upon Canadian national competencies?
  • What assurance can you provide that information about Canadian examination candidates will be managed in a manner that protects the privacy rights that are mandated under Canadian law?
  • What analysis has been done to project the potential risks to the Canadian nursing workforce should mobility barriers be eliminated?
  • What processes will be in place to ensure that exam items reflect a Canadian context in such areas of potential difference as health policy, social context, ethical framework, Canadian lab values, and language?