ARNBC Specialty Groups Newsletter - Fall 2015   •   view as web page   •   view as pdf
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The Specialist
Specialized nurses play a unique part in promoting the health and well-being of British Columbians and our public healthcare system. Specialty groups allow like-minded nurses to connect and help to give a voice to and drive forward the advancement of important areas of nursing and patient care.

To launch this inaugural issue of The Specialist, ARNBC has taken the opportunity to sit down with three specialty groups - two emerging and one established - to talk about shared challenges, future directions and the commonalities between specialties that give strength to the ARNBC Specialty Network. Going forward, our hope is to engage your groups even more by having you provide a short submission highlighting the work you are doing. Perhaps you have an event you'd like to showcase, or a short write-up of a meeting or event you held, or maybe you have a question or an issue you'd like to pose to the group for ongoing feedback and collaboration. Ultimately, The Specialist is about you, our specialists.

ARNBC staff will be in touch in the next few weeks, and we will be happy to support you in developing a short submission for the next The Specialist.
  1. The Canadian Nursing Association has a Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties. Check out their website to learn more about the network and how to get involved!

    For a list of speciality nursing groups in BC, click here.
  2. BCIT Specialty Nursing
    • Serves ~ 85% of specialty nursing educational needs in B.C.
    • Approximately 500 student fte's per year
  3. BCIT offers Advanced Certificates in nine nursing specialties:
    • Critical Care
    • Emergency
    • High Acuity
    • Neonatal
    • Nephrology
    • Occupational Health Nursing
    • Pediatrics
    • Perinatal
    • Perioperative
Your voice is our strength
Thank you to all who attended our face-to-face meeting on September 29th, 2015. Notes from the meeting are available here.  
  • Nov 27th - BC Clinical Informatics Association - 2nd Clinical Informatics Forum
    For more information please contact Leanne Currie at
To submit an event for our next edition of "The Specialist", please email
  How Specialty Nursing Groups are Finding Their Voice, Engaging Members and Moving Forward

ARNBC is proud to not only support individual nurses who have taken the initiative to seek out specialty certification, but to recognize and promote the importance of specialty nursing in the Canadian healthcare system. It has been widely identified that registered nurses with specialized knowledge and practice, when part of an appropriate nursing staff-mix model, can contribute cost savings to the healthcare system while improving client outcomes and safety. In fact specialty nursing professionals have been identified as one of the key ways to reduce health care costs and bolster the system. Moreover, RNs with specialized knowledge and practice are important leaders within interprofessional healthcare teams.

Celebrating specialty nursing is an important role for ARNBC, but at the same time, we know that our own specialty nursing groups share similar challenges and opportunities as they work to maintain a presence and bring forward their voice on issues of policy and programming within the healthcare system. We recently spoke to representatives from three of our specialty groups, to try to gain a better understanding of how they are engaging members, modeling leadership and looking forward to the future for their specialty profession. The groups we spoke to, the Nurse Managers emerging group, the newly formed Western Canada Rheumatology Nurses Society and the well-established Emergency Nurses Association of BC (ENABC ), provided us with insight into how specialty groups, at any level of development, share common challenges and also model nursing leadership through shared vision and commitment to the profession. Detailed profiles of each of the groups interviewed are linked at the end of this piece.

Our specialty nursing groups tell us that it can be challenging to recruit and retain membership. All of our specialty groups have had to think creatively and strategically about how their members gain value. They consider what they have to offer and take special care in working to canvass members and potential members so that what they bring forward resonates. Groups also grapple with how much and when to affiliate with a larger body in order to improve their offerings to members. A critical question becomes 'who can we affiliate with so that we don't have to reinvent the wheel?' We also learned that support, of any kind, is invaluable as groups continue their work. In most cases, specialty groups are led by passionate individuals who do this work 'off the sides of their desks'. They are not paid and budgets are limited. Support in the form of guidance, website space and teleconferencing often makes it possible for intra-group connection to occur. In some cases, the support comes from simply allowing a venue through which to network.

What is clear in having had a chance to speak to representatives from these groups, is that their dedication to the profession reaches beyond the speciality itself. Their work is focused on enhancing the role of the specialist as a key player in promoting the health of British Columbians. The groups provide an outlet for like-minded nurses to connect and give a voice to and drive forward the advancement of important areas of nursing and patient care. True leadership comes from the commitment to the profession, by persevering even in the face of challenges and by knowing that the work that is being undertaken is being done for the collective benefit of the profession and those that they serve.

Hats off to specialty nursing groups! We honour your commitment and dedication and look forward to providing you with ongoing support.

To read detailed profiles, please visit: